A Theory of Human Need by Len Doyal

By Len Doyal

Rejecting stylish subjectivist and cultural relativist ways, this significant publication argues that humans have common and aim wishes for health and wellbeing and autonomy and a correct to their optimum pride. The authors increase a process of social symptoms to teach what such optimization may suggest in perform and investigate the files of a variety of built and underdeveloped economies in assembly their electorate' wishes

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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.

But to condemn all or most state activity - no matter how ostensibly valuable in the relief of suffering - is plain silly and very difficult to sustain in practice. The fact is that the welfare state is contradictory, in some ways contributing to human betterment, in other ways doing the opposite (Gough, 1979, pp. 11-15). To deny this - to link the expression and satisfaction of 28 Relativism and the Problem of Human Need 'true need' and its satisfaction to systemic revolutionary change while at the same time proclaiming the theoretical impossibility of specifying what the change is meant to achieve - is to live for a future empty of substantive content.

Food, shelter or clothing, for example, can be referred to in either way. Descriptions of needs are hierarchical in character. g. specific types of clothing) again can be thought of as ends in their own right. This will be especially likely if their strategic relation to the goal remains implicit - for example, if there is no conscious formulation of the strategic link between the goal of a new coat and the more fundamental goal of physical warmth. Just as clothing may be described as either a goal or a strategy, this is also true, say, of specific types of clothes and of the money necessary to buy them.

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