Self-effacing ends


Published 2021-06-24

A self-effacing end is one that can’t be achieved by aiming directly at it.

Examples:

  • Happiness. The happiest people seem to be those who are focused on other things—relationships, meaningful work, etc. They don’t seem to be aiming directly at happiness as an end in itself.
  • Prestige. If you focus directly on earning prestige, you will likely be seen as manipulative or self-absorbed. The most prestigious people tend to become so through achievements or genuine good qualities.

Reference

Nguyen, C. Thi. Games: Agency as Art (p. 54). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

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