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Needs and Wants

THE CONCEPT OF needs and wants and the ability to distinguish one from the other plays an important role in society. The issue is explored in philosophy, psychology, ethics, and modern social thought. To assert that something is a need is to argue that it is an essential element that is required for the body or society to exist. Some philosophers call needs real goods, and wants apparent goods. In Western political thought, the goods of having, doing, and being are seen as needs. The good of having refers to physical things like food, water, clothing, and shelter. The good of doing refers to a state of freedom, the ability to determine one's own life. The good of being refers to the ability to choose ...

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