Aim, purpose, goal - whatever a person or group of persons selects as worthy
to try to achieve (or prevent).
All human societies, all human
groups, all human institutions are based on the selection of some
set of ends that these societies, groups or institutions are supposed
to further (maintain, practice, bring about, protect etc.).
If minimally reasonable, such ends are feasible in principle (much harm has been done
by imposing impossible ends as duties on human beings) and, where they apply
to groups or societies, come with some sort of proposal of a
plan to achieve
the ends, that considers means and possiblities.
It is noteworthy here that the ends of a
transcend the ends of the individuals in the group, in that they require or
propose more and other than any one individual can hope to achieve in his
Similarly, it seems all human character involves the conscious choice for
some ends one seeks to uphold or further, even if one knows one cannot realize
these ends in one's own life.
Also it is noteworthy that many ends human beings and human groups have are
such as to be not fully realizable by these persons or groups as they are:
What makes an end is the decision of a group or a person that it is a worthwile state of
reality to try to further.
And it should be noted that ends combine at least two distinct
things: Some theory about the
reality one believes oneself to be in, and some
desires or values
about that reality or oneself that one believes to be worthwile trying to
realize or helping to further.
Furthermore, an end becomes minimally reasonable or practisable in
principle if it also is related to some sort of plan
that outlines how one can get from the situation one is in to some situation
that is closer to the end.
Many ends people adopt have many shortcomings of many kinds:
- the end may be very difficult to practice
- the theory that is associated with the end
is not well supported or false in some respects
- there is no good plan how to practice or
help realize the
- the end may be immoral,
egoistic, or chauvinistic at least when measured by some norms, that may
include the norms of those who wish for the end
- the end is not sincerely adopted but as a
ploy, deception, tool or means to some other end
In short the
ends that are adopted by human beings tend to have much to do with