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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that the human essence can be understood as the functioning of three fundamental motives working together—value, control, and truth. It shows that each of these motives represents an independent source of goal pursuit, and that each, in its fulfillment, represents a unique factor in the achievement of well-being. It also argues that effectiveness in each of these motivational domains is inherently related to effectiveness in each of the others, such that achievement of full effectiveness in any of them entails effectiveness in all of them. This produces the emergent experience of their effective organization. Illustrating the relevance of these concepts for the human essence, the chapter draws parallels between this threefold view of motivation and the tripartite views of the soul in ancient Greek thought, and between the achievement of their effective organization and the experience of Brahman in Vedanta Hinduism.

Keywords: control, motivation, prevention focus, promotion focus, truth, value, human essence, pleasure, pain, free will

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