By Len Doyal
Rejecting stylish subjectivist and cultural relativist methods, this crucial booklet argues that humans have common and goal wishes for healthiness and autonomy and a correct to their optimum pride. The authors increase a process of social signs to teach what such optimization could suggest in perform and verify the files of a variety of constructed and underdeveloped economies in assembly their electorate' wishes
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Additional resources for A Theory of Human Need
Since there is no escape from the rules and discourse of one's form of life, there is no neutral reality to which one can turn to assess which approach to need satisfaction is 'best'. Thus different ways of conceptualising purity and danger, for example, lead to 44 Relativism and the Problem of Human Need conflicting beliefs about what sorts of food are clean and needed and which are unclean and harmful (Douglas, 1966, chs 1-3; cf. Douglas, 1975, pp. 47-59). The fact is that members of different cultures just do find different things morally outrageous, as sometimes do individuals within the same culture.
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. As a direct result of our brain size, which has necessitated the relatively early birth of human babies. we have a remarkably extended period of dependence in childhood.
Indeed, the reader must by now be wondering what there is left to say in this book. From the political Right, Left and Who Needs Human Needs? 21 Centre, from traditional disciplines and post-modernist thought, from economics, sociology, philosophy and discourse theory, from radical feminism and anti-racism, the charge is the same: the quest for universal and objective needs is a search for a will-o'-the-wisp. However, closer examination reveals that there are problems with all these schools of thought which indicate that they cannot do without the very thing that they implicitly or explicitly denounce.