chapter  6
17 Pages

Towards a theory of human needs and social minima

Introduction The preceding chapter has led us to the conclusion that neither the business calculation of profi ts and expenses nor the means-ends dichotomy can provide us with a proper model for deliberation and rational conduct. As has been noted, this is due to the fact that both the adaptation of means to given ends and the business calculation differ signifi cantly from ordinary human conduct. In the former case, the end is taken for granted, and is either not under consideration at all, the result of some prior deliberation, or fi xed by some “unthinking routine,” as Dewey called it. These are therefore special and relatively simple cases which throw little or no light on the role which reason and deliberation play in normal human conduct, where ends are not given but must be evaluated, chosen, and preferred. The truly signifi cant choice and preference is the choice between ends, and it is in this choice that reason, deliberation, and (if possible) calculation must play their specifi c and important roles.