What are the basic needs?

We explain what are the basic or fundamental needs of the human being and what are the main ones. Also, Maslow’s pyramid.

  1. What are the basic needs?

When talking about basic needs or fundamental needs of humanity , reference is made to the minimum essential elements that human beings need to live .

There is no single definition or criterion regarding which or how many they are, but everything depends on the philosophical perspective according to which they are addressed. Thus, according to some authors they are few, finite and well classifiable (Max-Neef, Elizalde and Hopenhayn), while according to the traditional economic perspective they are few, but infinite and insatiable.

What the different existing criteria with respect to the basic needs of the individual do coincide, is that they are characteristic of humanity, so that they are shared by the species in all possible historical cultures and periods , although they have tried to satisfy themselves through procedures, Strategies and systems very different from each other historically.

In addition, it is admitted that these fundamental needs are:

  • Simultaneous : You need them all at once.
  • Complementary : If one fails, the others fail.
  • Not marketable : It is not acceptable to be part of a business.

The satisfaction of these minimum needs of the human being also serves as an indicator to distinguish between the different strata of the population that is in poverty . Those who lead an existence unable to provide themselves with these fundamental needs are those who are below in the social pyramid.

Finally, these basic needs dictate the fundamental rights of every human being , in accordance with natural law and international agreements on Human Rights (Human Rights). They are inalienable, inalienable and typical of any individual of the species regardless of their condition and context.

  1. What are the basic needs?

basic needs affection leisure
Leisure and affection are also basic needs.

According to some authors, the basic human needs are as follows:

  • Subsistence , ie food and water to keep up with life , but also access to health both preventive and curative.
  • Protection , that is, be kept safe from the danger and inclement nature : rain, cold, etc.
  • Affection , that is, the consideration of others, the love of others and the acceptance of others.
  • Participation , which is equivalent to being taken into account in society and having the right to be part of it.
  • Leisure , that is, free time and rest, time for reflection.
  • Understanding , which is equivalent to education , access to knowledge and knowledge .
  • Creation , that is, the possibility of inventing, composing, interpreting, imagining.
  • Identity , that is, a proper name, a proper story, and its formal recognition by others.
  • Freedom , which means owning one’s own acts, deciding on one’s own body and life, without being subject to the will of others.
  1. Maslow’s Pyramid

basic maslow needs
Maslow’s pyramid illustrates what the most urgent needs are.

The American psychologist Abraham Maslow devised in the mid-twentieth century a way to classify and represent human needs on a sort of scale that measures their degree of urgency. This scale is represented in a pyramid, nowadays famous, called Maslow’s Pyramid.

In this pyramid, the different types of needs follow one another from the base of the pyramid (where the fundamental human needs are found, shared by the whole species ). As you ascend to the top, the needs become less urgent and more abstract .

That is to say that in that ascending path one passes from the support of the body to professional fulfillment or personal affection. However, it is impossible to climb from one step to the next if the previous one is not already satisfied .

The Maslow Pyramid is composed of the following levels:

  • Physiological needs , typical of the body and maintenance.
  • Security needs , that is, those that guarantee a continuous and siege-free existence (of climatic elements, but also labor, etc.).
  • Membership needs , which have to do with the sense of belonging of the individual to a particular society (love, camaraderie, etc.).
  • Needs recognition , that is, assessment by other members of society, which affects self-esteem .
  • Self-realization needs , which are the most abstract and complex type of needs, and have to do with moral, spiritual, creative or other self-realization, that is, deeply individual and subjective needs.

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