Hierarchies of Purpose

  • Davood Gozli


Actions and goals can be described in terms of relatively superordinate (abstract, long-term) or relatively subordinate concepts (concrete, short-term). Although we often see subordinate action concepts (hand-waving) as the expression of relatively more superordinate concepts (saying hello), the relation between the two is, in principle, contingent. Furthermore, among the possible concepts that we can use to describe an action, there is usually one that seems more visible to us. This fact can be expressed with reference to Eleanor Rosch’s basic-level categories. The hierarchical nature of actions and goals, and the fact that the relation between the levels can change, is emphasized by drawing attention to explorative/improvisational activities.


Agency Control Purpose Goal Intention Contingency Necessity Goal hierarchies Exploitation Exploration Goal-directed action Basic-level categories Subordinate Superordinate Categories 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davood Gozli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MacauTaipaMacao

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