(ii) of the army who wants to

(ii) Wert rational action or rational action in relation to a value? (iii) Affective or emotional action, and (iv) Traditional action.

(i) Zweckrational Action: This is actually a rational action in relation to a goal. It is comparable to Pareto’s “logical action”. In this type of action the actor conceives his goal clearly and combines means with the intention of attaining it. Weber here defines rationality only in terms of the knowl­edge of the actor and not in terms of the observer, as Pareto does.

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Examples: The action of the surgeon who is conducting an operation, the general of the army who wants to win a victory in war, the author who is writing to publish a book and so on. (ii) Wert rational Action: This is actually action in relation to a value. The action is rational not because it seeks to attain a goal, but because there is a value behind the goal. Example: The brave captain in a war goes down in water with his ship fighting the battle till the last. He is not prepared to abandon the sinking ship for he considers it as dishonourable. For the captain his action is rational because he wants to remain faithful to his own idea or value of honour. (iii) Affective Action: Affective action is one which is dictated immediately by the state of mind.

In this type of action more than rationality emotions play a dominant role. Example: In a fit of anger the mother may beat the child, on hearing the news of his failure in examination the student may commit suicide, due to disappointment in love affairs one may take to drinking intoxicating drinks, etc. In these instances of action there is no reference to a goal or system of values. (iv) Traditional Action: This kind of action is dictated by customs and beliefs.

One may be­come quite habituated to act in accordance with customary ways. In such customary ways of acting it is not necessary for the actor to imagine a goal, or be conscious of a value, or be stirred by an immediate emotion. The actor implicitly obeys his impulses that have become conditioned.

Ex­ample: Students getting up impulsively from their seats to show respect to the teacher when he enters the classroom. The priest following the customary ways of worshipping in a temple in the presence of devotees.


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