Merely Instrumental? (1) – Rafart, The Handbook of the Acid Rider

Progarchy

So, I was talking to Brad Birzer a little while back, and he said he wanted me to listen to some recent “instrumental prog,” and to write about it for Progarchy.  Well, sure!  Why not?

Of course, I knew what Brad meant, but I was still rather struck that particular day by the usage of that word, ‘instrumental.’  I teach social theory and philosophy, and in that context, I’m used to the word ‘instrumental’ meaning “serving as a means toward some end or goal.”  I’m also used to that meaning carrying a rather negative connotation at times, as in “merely instrumental,” meaning valuable only so far as it it a means to an end.  I guess it was that sort of connotation that especially hit me when Brad used it, even though he certainly did not mean it that way.  (I’m pretty sure his main agenda was to get me to listen to stuff…

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