|Look up autotelic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
A thing which is autotelic is described as "having a purpose in and not apart from itself". It is a broad term that can be applied to missionaries, scientists, systems, and so forth.
Etymology: Greek autotelēs, from aut- + telos, meaning self + goal.
The Oxford English Dictionary cites its earliest use as 1901 (Baldwin, Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology I 96/1), and also cites a 1932 use by T. S. Eliot (Essays I. ii. 24).
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes people who are internally driven, and as such may exhibit a sense of purpose and curiosity, as autotelic. This determination is an exclusive difference from being externally driven, where things such as comfort, money, power, or fame are the motivating force.
"An autotelic person needs few material possessions and little entertainment, comfort, power, or fame because so much of what he or she does is already rewarding. Because such persons experience flow in work, in family life, when interacting with people, when eating, even when alone with nothing to do, they are less dependent on the external rewards that keep others motivated to go on with a life composed of routines. They are more autonomous and independent because they cannot be as easily manipulated with threats or rewards from the outside. At the same time, they are more involved with everything around them because they are fully immersed in the current of life."
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life | Robert E Quinn, Change the World p 210, 272
- Csikszentmihalyi, 1997, p.l17,
See also 
- Ophelimity, another term for whether a thing has useful contingency (purpose through specific utility) or is an ends with purpose unto itself.
- End in itself
|This psychology-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|
|This business-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|