Human Needs: A Realist Perspective

Journal of Critical Realism 6 (2):173-198 (2007)
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This article argues for a realist conception of human needs. By ‘realist’ we mean that certain fundamental needs are categorically distinct from consumer wants, holding independently of people's subjective beliefs as objective life requirements. These basic needs, we contend, are baseline measures of social justice in the sense that no society that does not prioritise their satisfaction can be legitimate. The paper concludes with a comprehensive response to seven core objections to our position.



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Author Profiles

Alison Assiter
University of the West of England
Jeff Noonan
University of Windsor

References found in this work

Being human: the problem of agency.Margaret Scotford Archer - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Power: A Radical View.Steven Lukes & Jack H. Nagel - 1976 - Political Theory 4 (2):246-249.
The current status of scientific realism.Richard Boyd - 1984 - In Jarrett Leplin (ed.), Scientific Realism. University of California. pp. 195--222.
Social justice.David Miller - 1976 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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