chapter  6
6 Pages

THE DEGREES OP HUMAN NEEDS

However, it is a matter of importance to the practical economyand, consequently, to theory-to know the relative intensity as the tension is reduced. On this condition depends the prospect of the complete satiation of a particular need. In the case of the physical needs of existence, tension disappears rather high on the general scale. For example, water is essential to life. But the needs of the body are satisfied after a relatively small quantity has been absorbed. The connoisseur of wine, the habitual drinker and the drunkard have a longer range of desires of a lesser intensity. The same remark may be made of the need of food. The primary need concerns itself merely with consuming that food which is indispensable to selfpreservation. Tension is relaxed at a high point. The stimuli due merely to gastronomy are of a different order. The disappearance of stress in the case of dispensable needs of luxuries, on the other hand, is often found at a low point in the general scale. For some of them this point has never been discovered. Wholly degenerate needs, moreover, may be insatiable.