Two Concepts of Effort

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I distinguish between two concepts of effort, E-effort and T-effort. E-effort is the familiar one, which focuses on the experiential qualities of making an effort (such the energy and time we put into effort making, or the hardship we endure). Teleological effort (or T-effort) is the motivated and active focus on the intended purpose or goal of the effort; the aim to do what it takes to reach the target of the effort. When we make a T-effort we concentrate on the best way of getting to where we want to be, which may involve putting in less E-effort. Focusing upon T-efforts should help us both to better understand the relationship between effort and success; and to make what I call Real Efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2663-2673
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophia (United States)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Doing one’s best
  • Effort
  • Practical reason
  • Success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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