Beyond instrumental rationality. For a critical theory of freedom

  • Jana Katharina Funk University of Bamberg
Keywords: human freedom, rationalization, instrumental rationality, value rationality, Critical Theory, critique of capitalism

Abstract

This article will provide an illustration of Max Weber’s theory of rationalization with a specific impetus on its interdependency with the development of capitalism. Following Horkheimer, I shall critically draw on Weber to outline a theory of human freedom, showing that rationalization not only implies economic and social liberation but entails a totalizing tendency that invades all spheres of socio-political life including people’s mental infrastructure. This mental colonization can be framed as a process of substituting value rationality with instrumental rationality. I will claim that this substitution can be understood as an impediment for human freedom. Following contemporary theories of action (Anscombe, Foot), I will show the centrality of value orientation for understanding human freedom. Therefore, I propose a critical theory of freedom that centers value rational action as realization of freedom and can be understood as emancipative.

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Author Biography

Jana Katharina Funk, University of Bamberg

is a doctoral student at the University of Bamberg, Germany. She studied Philosophy, Political Science and Asian Studies in Berlin, New Delhi and Bamberg. During her investigation, she was a visiting scholar at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina and at De Paul University, Chicago. She is interested in questions of global justice, liberal theory, moral theory and feminist studies. 

 

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Published
2021-01-29
How to Cite
Funk J. K. (2021). Beyond instrumental rationality. For a critical theory of freedom. Estudios De Filosofía, (63), 91-108. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ef.n63a05
Section
Original or Research articles