Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Instrumental Reason

  • Eduardo Maura
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_200937

In general terms, instrumental reason is a specific form of rationality which focuses on effective means to an end and not, as other forms of practical rationality do, on improving living conditions, promoting reasonable agreement, or human understanding. It is one of the most used and most relevant terms in Critical Theory, particularly M. Horkheimer and J. Habermas. It has traditionally meant domination, manipulation of nature and social relations. For Horkheimer, the sophisticated process of strategic choice of means to an end is regarded as the most representative corruption of practical reason.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de FilosofíaUniversidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain)MadridSpain