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date: 10 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that people care deeply about who they are: that is, their evaluation of their own self as a whole matters greatly to them, one way or another. These evaluations reflect the impact of various self-evaluation motives, or self-motives. Much human psychology addresses the interplay of these self-motives, and whether and how they harmonize or clash. The chapter considers humans’ two most fundamental motivations, which are important elements of the human essence: self-assessment and self-enhancement. The chapter suggests that “the essence of being human is caring about who one is and wishing for it to be some desirable way, but at the same time having the conclusions one wants to draw constrained by rationality.”

Keywords: motivation, rationality, self, self-enhancement, self-esteem, self-evaluation, self-motives, human essence

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