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 +"Nothing is really beautiful but [[useless|that which cannot be made use of]]; [[Everything useful is ugly|everything that is useful is ugly]], for it is the expression of some need, and the [[Need|needs of man]] are [[vile]] and [[disgusting]], like his poor, weak nature.--The most useful part of a house is the [[privy]]."--''[[Mademoiselle de Maupin (novel)|Mademoiselle de Maupin]]'' (1835) by Théophile Gautier
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 +[[Image:The Poor Poet by Carl Spitzweg.jpg|thumb|200px|''[[The Poor Poet]]'' (1839) is a painting by Carl Spitzweg]]
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-A '''need''' is the psychological feature that arouses an organism to [[action]] toward a goal and the reason for the action, giving purpose and direction to [[behavior]]. 
-The most widely known [[Maslow's hierarchy of needs|academic model of needs]] was proposed by [[Abraham Maslow]]. In it, he proposed that people have a hierarchy of needs, which range from security to self actualization. However, while this model is intuitively appealing, it has been difficult to operationalize it experimentally. It was further developed by [[Clayton Alderfer]].+A '''need''' is something that is [[necessary]] for organisms to live a healthy [[life]]. Needs are distinguished from [[want]]s because a deficiency would cause a clear negative outcome, such as dysfunction or death. Needs can be [[Objectivity (philosophy)|objective]] and [[physical property|physical]], such as food, or they can be [[Subjectivity|subjective]] and psychological, such as the need for [[self-esteem]]. On a social level, needs are sometimes controversial. Understanding needs and wants is an issue in the fields of [[politics]], [[social science]], and [[philosophy]].
-The academic study of needs was at its zenith in the 1950's, but receives scant attention today. One exception is [[Richard Sennett]]'s work on the importance of [[respect]]. Prof. Ian Gough has published on human needs in the context of social assistance provided by the [[welfare state]] [http://www.bath.ac.uk/soc-pol/staff/profiles/ian-gough.html]. The concept of [[intellectual need]] has been studied in [[education]].+== See also ==
- +* [[False need]]
-In his 1844 ''Paris Manuscripts'', [[Karl Marx]] famously defined human beings as "creatures of need" or "needy creatures" who experienced suffering in the process of learning and working to meet their needs [http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/preface.htm]. These needs were both physical needs as well as moral, emotional and intellectual needs. According to Marx, human development is characterised by the fact that in the process of meeting their needs, humans develop new needs, implying that at least to some extent they make and remake their own nature. This idea is discussed in more detail by the Hungarian philosopher [[Agnes Heller]] in ''A Theory of Need in Marx'' (London: Allison and Busby, 1976).+* [[Fundamental human needs]]
- +* [[Maslow's hierarchy of needs]]
-People also talk about the needs of a community or organization. Such needs might include demand for a particular type of business, for a certain government program or entity, or for individuals with particular skills.+* [[Need theory]] (McClelland)
- +* [[Want]]
-== See ==+* [[Murray's system of needs]]
-*[[false need]]+* [[Simple living]]
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"Nothing is really beautiful but that which cannot be made use of; everything that is useful is ugly, for it is the expression of some need, and the needs of man are vile and disgusting, like his poor, weak nature.--The most useful part of a house is the privy."--Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835) by Théophile Gautier

The Poor Poet (1839) is a painting by Carl Spitzweg
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The Poor Poet (1839) is a painting by Carl Spitzweg

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A need is something that is necessary for organisms to live a healthy life. Needs are distinguished from wants because a deficiency would cause a clear negative outcome, such as dysfunction or death. Needs can be objective and physical, such as food, or they can be subjective and psychological, such as the need for self-esteem. On a social level, needs are sometimes controversial. Understanding needs and wants is an issue in the fields of politics, social science, and philosophy.

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