James M. Jasper

in Getting Your Way

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780226394756
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226394749 | DOI:

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This chapter attempts to demonstrate the diversity of human desires, overly simplified models of which will always distort what is seen and expected. Goals of human action fall crudely into three basic groups: reputation in the eyes of oneself and others; direct sensual pleasures, including loving and being loved; and the ability to have an impact on the world around one. Knowledge, faith, and intellectual activity are then added to these classic goals. Curiosity, the motivation behind them, has more to do with awareness than with agency, with the surprise of learning how things will turn out. In addition, it illustrates objectives as intermediate goals that are valued as part of strategic interactions. Goals are what humans carve out as specific embodiments of what is valuable, and people can pursue them through strategic action.

Keywords: goals; human desires; reputation; sensual pleasures; impact; knowledge; faith; curiosity

Chapter.  13386 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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