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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

A Theory of Human Need

ISBN 9780333383254
Publication Date October 1991
Formats Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

Rejecting fashionable subjectivist and cultural relativist approaches, this important book argues that human beings have universal and objective needs for health and autonomy and a right to their optimal satisfaction. The authors develop a system of social indicators to show what such optimization would mean in practice and assess the records of a wide range of developed and underdeveloped economies in meeting their citizens' needs

Prefaces
Introduction
PART I: RELATIVISM AND THE PROBLEM OF HUMAN NEED
Who Needs Human Needs?
The Inevitability of Human Needs
The Grammar of Human Needs
PART 2: A THEORY OF HUMAN NEED
The Basic Needs of Persons
Societal Preconditions for Need Satisfaction
Human Liberation and the Right to Optimal Need Satisfaction
Optimising Need Satisfaction in Theory
PART 3: HUMAN NEEDS IN PRACTICE
Measuring Need Satisfaction
Health and Autonomy Intermediate
Needs Societal Preconditions for Optimising
Need Satisfaction
Charting Human Welfare
PART 4: THE POLITICS OF HUMAN NEED
Towards a Political Economy of Need Satisfaction
The Dual Strategy.

Reviews

'An ambitious and very welcome book...[which] combines a tight argument and a wide-ranging application...This will prove a major text not just in terms of the theory presented and the data that is summarised but in the research questions it poses.' - Nigel Parton, Times Higher Education Supplement'[A] scrupulous and sophisticated case...for the ascription of universal needs...What is important and original...about [Doyal and Gough's] project is that it not only tells us what our basic needs are...but offers empirical criteria for the meeting of these goals...' - Kate Soper, New Left Review
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