Substantive and Instrumental Rationalities

A person is late for work; he sees an elderly lady going across the street pushing a shopping cart. He starts fearing for her safety, as the traffic light won’t be red for a long time. The person approaches the elderly lady and helps her cross the street by offering to push the shopping cart. What kind of rationality has led him to acting like that? It is the substantive rationality; a type of sense determined independently of its expectations of success that characterizes a human act that is not interested in the attainment of a subsequent outcome from such act; the action manifests itself through the merit of the values that inspire it on the basis of a high ethical level guided by a criterion that transcends advantage, profit or obligation. Read the complete post.

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