intention of an action
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Purpose is a term having various meanings involving intentions, targets, aims, goals, and objects or results which are desired. Most involve conceptions of an individual's voluntary behavior or active awareness, and have had significant histories of involvement in religion, philosophy, science, technology, politics, war and forms of art and magic.
A - F
- A narrow religion, a sectarian religion, an exclusive religion can live only for a limited time and a limited purpose.
- Sri Aurobindo, The Uttarpara Address (1909)
- I am working in everybody and whatever men may think or do, they can do nothing but help in my purpose.
- Sri Aurobindo, The Uttarpara Address (1909)
- Not result is the purpose of action, but God's eternal delight in becoming, seeing and doing.
- Sri Aurobindo, Thoughts and Aphorisms (1913)
- The great rule of life is to have no schemes but one unalterable purpose.
- Sri Aurobindo, ., Nahar, S., Aurobindo, ., & Institut de recherches évolutives (Paris). India's rebirth: A selection from Sri Aurobindo's writing, talks and speeches. Paris: Institut de Recherches Evolutives. 3rd Edition (2000). 
- All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.
- Jorge Luis Borges, in Twenty Conversations with Borges, Including a Selection of Poems: Interviews by Roberto Alifano, 1981–1983 (1984)
- Plato defined a slave as one who accepts from another the purposes which control his conduct.
- John Dewey, in Democracy and Education (1916), Section 7: The Democratic Conception in Education
- Poetry has historically been allied with religion and morals; it has served the purpose of penetrating the mysterious depths of things.
- John Dewey, in Democracy and Education (1916), Section 18: Educational Values
- I would rather work with five people who really believe in what they are doing rather than five hundred who can't see the point.
- Patrick Dixon, in Building a Better Business (2005), p. 14
- There is only one valid definition of a business purpose: to create a customer.
- Peter Drucker (1954) The Practice of Management p. 37
- We look upon this shaken Earth, and we declare our firm and fixed purpose — the building of a peace with justice in a world where moral law prevails. The building of such a peace is a bold and solemn purpose. To proclaim it is easy. To serve it will be hard.
- I need to have a purpose in life and for that I might sacrifice some of the luxuries that I enjoy; fortunately I am fairly adaptable. I try to be aware, flexible and unbiased in my thinking. If I have learnt anything, it is that life forms no logical patterns. It is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return?
- Margot Fonteyn, in Margot Fonteyn : Autobiography (1975), p. 272
G - L
- Even flies, parasites and microbes have their purpose to fulfil, and there is nothing superfluous in creation.
- Tales and Maxims from the Midrash by Rev. Samuel Rapaport, Genesis Rabbah 10, (1907), p. 65
- Aim at the sun, and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher than if aimed at an object on a level with yourself.
- Joel Hawes, as quoted in You're Born an Original - Don't Die a Copy (1993) by John Mason.
- Purpose has no place in biology, but history has no meaning without it.
- George Kubler The Shape of Time, 1982, p. 8
- The purposes of the Almighty are perfect, and must prevail, though we erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive them in advance.
- Abraham Lincoln, in a letter to Eliza Gurney (4 September 1864); quoted in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 7 (1953), p. 535.
- Men are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them.
- Abraham Lincoln, in letter to Thurlow Weed (15 March 1865), published in Abraham Lincoln: A Biography (1916), by Lord Charnwood
M - R
- Every nation, like every individual, has received a mission that it must fulfil.
- Joseph de Maistre, Considerations on France (1796), Ch. II
- Everyone has a goal which appears to be great, at least to himself, and is great when deepest conviction, the innermost voice of the heart, pronounces it great. ... This voice, however, is easily drowned out, and what we thought to be inspiration may have been created by the fleeting moment and again perhaps destroyed by it. ... We must seriously ask ourselves, therefore, whether we are really inspired about a vocation, whether an inner voice approves of it, or whether the inspiration was a deception, whether that which we took as the Deity’s calling to us was self-deceit. But how else could we recognize this except by searching for the source of our inspiration?
- Karl Marx, Writings of the Young Marx on Philosophy and Society, L. Easton, trans. (1967), p. 36.
- Our purpose is to educate as well as to entertain.
- Curtis Mayfield , as quoted in The Sociology of Rock (1978) by Simon Frith
- Purposes are deduced from behaviour, not from rhetoric or stated goals.
- Donella Meadows, Thinking in Systems: A Primer, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008, page 14 (ISBN 9781603580557).
- We all engage in purposeful activity, and we judge ourselves and others in terms of success in achieving the purposes that we set before ourselves. Yet we accept as the final product of this purposeful activity a picture of the world from which purpose has been eliminated. Purpose is a meaningful concept in relation to our own consciousness of ourselves, but it is allowed no place in our understanding of the world of facts.
- Lesslie Newbigin, in Foolishness to the Greeks : Gospel and Western Culture (1986)
- The hypothesis will lead to our thinking of features of each Universe as purposed; and this will stand or fall with the hypothesis. Yet a purpose essentially involves growth, and so cannot be attributed to God. Still it will, according to the hypothesis, be less false to speak so than to represent God as purposeless.
- Charles Sanders Peirce, on the God hypothesis, in "A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God" (1908), § II
- There is no good reason why we should fear the future, but there is every reason why we should face it seriously, neither hiding from ourselves the gravity of the problems before us nor fearing to approach these problems with the unbending, unflinching purpose to solve them aright.
- Theodore Roosevelt, in his Inaugural Address (1905)
- A union of indomitable resolution in the achievement of a given purpose, with patience and moderation in the policy pursued, and with kindly charity and consideration and friendliness to those of opposite belief, marks the very spirit in which we of to-day should approach the pressing problems of the present.
- Theodore Roosevelt, in "The Progressives, Past and Present" in: The Outlook, Vol. 96, No. 1 (3 September 1910)
S - Z
- There's no escaping reason, no denying purpose, for as we both know, without purpose we would not exist. It is purpose that created us, purpose that connects us, purpose that pulls us, that guides us, that drives us; it is purpose that defines us, purpose that binds us.
- Agent Smith to Neo in The Matrix Reloaded (2003), written by the Wachowskis.
- There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. [...] Live being true to the single purpose of the moment.
- Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure (c. 1716)
- I take great satisfaction in seeing people and organizations achieve goals they might have originally believed to be beyond their reach.
- Don W. Wilson as quoted in e-Study Guide for: American Government and Politics Today Google Books