Trouble with Success
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The “Three E’s of Praxiology” are often said to be Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Ethics. Ethics is such a wide and complicated topic, much more so than many people tend to realize, that I do not intend to tackle it here. I try to avoid ethical and moral issues in this paper. 1 Efficiency sounds like a term in engineering science, and my suspicion is that it is a pretty well-understood concept, yet philosophers can complicate any term and topic, if they are given a chance. Anyway, I do not have anything to say about it now. We are left with effectiveness, which is, as I want to show, a complicated and demanding term to use and understand, if we do not use it in its naïve colloquial sense. Many praxiologists may want to bypass such issues and say, simply, that effective action and work reach their given goal or get the job done. In other words, effectiveness means that action reaches its goal, which is understood as an object or content of, say, the relevant intention. We can put this idea, thus effective action realizes the relevant intention of the agent. For example, I want to build a bridge and as a result of my effective action, we have a bridge, as I intended. What could be simpler? I do what I intended to do, and that is it.