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From Late Latin entelechia, from Ancient Greek ἐντελέχεια ‎(entelékheia), coined by Aristotle from ἐντελής ‎(entelḗs, complete, finished, perfect) (from τέλος ‎(télos, end, fruition, accomplishment)) + ἔχω ‎(ékhō, to have).



entelechy ‎(plural entelechies)

  1. (Aristotelian philosophy) The complete realisation and final form of some potential concept or function; the conditions under which a potential thing becomes actualized.
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, II.12:
      Aristotle [] calleth it [the soul] Entelechy, or perfection moving of it selfe (as cold an invention as any other) for he neither speaketh of the essence, nor of the beginning, nor of the soules nature; but onely noteth the effects of it [].
  2. A particular type of motivation, need for self-determination, and inner strength directing life and growth to become all one is capable of being; the need to actualize one's beliefs; having a personal vision and being able to actualize that vision from within.
  3. Something complex that emerges when a large number of simple objects are put together.


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