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From Latin conatio (an act of attempting)


conation (countable and uncountable, plural conations)

  1. (philosophy) The power or act which directs or impels to effort of any kind, whether muscular or psychical.
    • 1899, George Frederick Stout, A Manual of Psychology, page 234:
      Any pleasing sense-experience, when it has once taken place, will, on subsequent occasions, give rise to a conation, when its conditions are only partially repeated...
    • 1957, Lawrence Durrell, Justine:
      You can sit quiet and hear the processes going on, going about their business; volition, desire, will, cognition, passion, conation.
    • 1987, Marshall J. Farr, 'Cognition, Affect, and Motivation: Issues, Directions and Perspectives Toward Unity', in Conative and Affective Process Analysis, p. 347:
      [The] 'purposive conscious striving' aspect of conation is very likely a concept we need to treat separately if we are to study human motivation successfully []

Related terms[edit]