Instrumentally Good

Something is 'instrumentally good' if it is a means to an end (goal). It is good for achieving a goal. Hence, it is effective. It works.

"Effectiveness ... can be established by sensory observation, but worthwhileness cannot" (Steiner, 1988, p. 25).

See also: intrinsically good.


  • A bicycle is instrumentally good for traveling from home to work.
  • Socratic Method is instrumentally good in helping students to learn to think critically.
  • A pair of scissors is instrumentally good for cutting paper.
  • Analysis of Patterns in Time is instrumentally good as a research method for identifying stochastic relations among temporal phenomena.

Compare with: Value theory (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).