Instrumental Value

Instrumental Value

Instrumental value can be defined as the ability of an object to act as a means. It is a contributory or extrinsic value. Thus, it is the value of an object both abstract and physical not as the end in itself, but as a means that can lead to the achievement of something else. The theory of this value stems from the notion of ideas or objects that indirectly or directly lead to a value. Value is the worth’s estimate and it can be monetary or something else. The theory of value studies both direct value, which is also called intrinsic value, and the ability of being instrumentally valuable. This value has always existed and it has been subjected to debates since philosophers began debating on philosophy as a subject.

Why instrumental value is important

This value can be less directly or directly valuable. An instrumental action is usually a social action that is pursued following an evaluation of the consequences that it will have and considering different means that can lead to its achievement. Usually, an instrumental action or goal-instrumental action is planned then taken after considering the involved consequences and costs. This is very important because it guides the actions and choices of individuals. For instance, money might not have value of and in itself. It simply has no intrinsic value. Nevertheless, you can use it to purchase valuable things. Thus, it is instrumentally valuable because it contributes to buying valuable things. Generally, this value lies in the ability of an object to enable you to obtain valuable things.

When is something said to have this value?

Something is instrumentally valuable if and when it offers a means of getting something else that has value. For instance, having a lot of money or assets is being instrumentally valuable. However, the value becomes apparent or revealed when the assets are used to get something of value such as happiness. The place of an object in an events’ chain is what determines how it is graded in terms of value. For instance, music is directly valuable because it gives pleasure as the end in itself. On the other hand, a guitar is indirectly valuable because it produces music and music gives pleasure. Thus, the value of an object can be graded differently depending on the events’ chain that it relates to.

Where instrumental value can be seen

This value can be seen in different aspects of objects such as the above example of using money instrumentally to acquire things of value. Another example is the use of technology instrumentally to realize good. For instance, energy-saving technology can be used instrumentally to minimize environmental damage that results from energy production as well as distribution. Technology can also be used instrumentally in solid waste management systems in the restoration of the damaged or depleted soils. Recycling technologies can be used to minimize the demand for raw materials or minerals. These examples show that technology is instrumentally valuable because it leads to the realization of good or things of value.

How something becomes instrumentally valuable

It is important to note that, for something to be instrumentally valuable, it must be present at the time when it is required. Thus, something that is instrumentally valuable is an emergent property in any given situation. For instance, salt is good because on its own it is food. However, it is better when included in a prepared meal. Providing its good outside the context of a prepared food is not what is expected of salt. Thus, some things are instrumentally valuable when available or used in certain conditions. Generally, most objects have their instrumental conditionality.

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