Single Idea 5873

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 3. Natural Function]

Full Idea

Each thing's function is its end.


'Function' is the Greek word 'ergon', and 'end' is the Greek word 'telos'

Gist of Idea

Each thing's function is its end


Aristotle (Eudemian Ethics [c.333 BCE], 1219a08)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Eudemian Ethics I,II and VIII', ed/tr. Woods,Michael [OUP 1992], p.12

A Reaction

Function and end are not the same, but this confirms how closely related they are for Aristotle. Can an inanimate object have an end, without having any apparent function? Could I construct a set of cogwheels which each had a function, but no end?

Related Idea

Idea 15772 A thing's active function is its end [Aristotle]