By Len Doyal
Rejecting stylish subjectivist and cultural relativist methods, this crucial ebook argues that humans have common and goal wishes for well-being and autonomy and a correct to their optimum pride. The authors advance a approach of social signs to teach what such optimization might suggest in perform and check the documents of a variety of constructed and underdeveloped economies in assembly their electorate' wishes
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Extra info for A Theory of Human Need
People do not always recognise the social forces which shape their preferences and this 'obliges us to look for criteria of need other than in social perceptions'. He even goes on: Perceptions which are filtered through, or fostered by, the value or belief systems of sectional groups, the state or whole communities can never be regarded as sufficiently representative of 'reality out there'. There have to be forms of 'objective' social The Inel'itabilit)' of Human Needs 33 observation, investigation and comparison against which they may be checked (even if these standards remain necessarily incomplete as well as necessarily creatures of socially produced modes of scientific thought) (Townsend, 1972, p.
The impression of desertion or abandonment which Existentialists have is due, I am sure, not to the removal of God. but to this contemptuous dismissal of almost the whole biosphere - plants, animals, and children. Life shrinks to a few urban rooms; no wonder it becomes absurd (Midgley, 1979. pp. 18-19; cf. chs 1-3). We are linked to other animals in a variety of ways. through being bipedal mammals - warm blooded, suckling. naked descendants of apes. with an upright gait and flexible hands. But we also have large, developed brains and a corresponding capacity unmatched in evolution to communicate with each other, to reason and to create projects.
However, it is unclear what it would mean for them to claim that you are wrong: you have given your reasons and they are perfectly intelligible. ' For here reference is made to what is agreed to be necessary to maintain the individual in an 'acceptable' state which avoids the prospect of serious harm. To use another hackneyed example. diabetics may want sugar so badly that their perception is one of need. They may well feel that they cannot 'go on' unless they achieve it as a goal. But what they need is insulin - even if they have never heard of it and do not have the capacity to conceptualise it as a preference.