By Len Doyal
Rejecting stylish subjectivist and cultural relativist methods, this crucial publication argues that humans have common and aim wishes for well-being and autonomy and a correct to their optimum delight. The authors boost a approach of social signs to teach what such optimization may suggest in perform and check the documents of a variety of built and underdeveloped economies in assembly their voters' wishes
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Extra resources for A Theory of Human Need
Educated, adult humans on the other - as if there were no other life forms. 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.
It is the secular equivalent of what Hegel called the 'unhappy consciousness' of early Christian obsession with the afterlife (Hegel, 1977, pp. 126-38; cf. Norman, 1976, pp. 59-64). For if it is denied that people have the same needs both before and after revolutionary success - if 'radical needs' in Heller's terms can only be formulated properly once such success has occurred then how can success itself be identified? Surely the whole point of socialist politics focused on the future is to achieve dramatic improvements in the lives of individuals who will actually live in a post-capitalist society.
But to values which embody notions of serious harm and need. The argument is that individuals and/or collectives will be better off in the long run - that their interests will be better served - if they prefer capitalism to some other system (Griffin. 1986, pp. 31-7). But implicit in this argument is some objective goal which is not in itself a matter of rational preference. For any preference which contradicts the goal. whatever it is. will be regarded as irrational. There is no way. for example.