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close this bookScience and Technology in the Transformation of the World (UNU, 1982, 496 p.)
close this folderSession III: Biology, medicine, and the future of mankind
close this folderRestructuring a framework for assessment of science and technology as a driving power for social development: a biosociological approach
close this folderYuji Mori
View the documentI. Introduction - The darwinian and ned-darwinian systems
View the documentII. Sociobiology or biosociology? how to view humans and their society
View the documentIII. Three levels of production and consumption
View the documentIV. Needs
View the documentV. Science and technology as cultural phenomena
View the documentVI. The turning point of social development: space and time
View the documentNotes

IV. Needs

Needs regulate and stimulate the complex relationship between production and consumption; thus, let us consider the relationship between production, consumption, and needs. I will not discuss the distribution and exchange occurring between production and consumption as this is not essential to my argument, because whatever process of distribution and exchange is adopted, production depends on consumption for completion; likewise, production without consumption does not make much sense. Needs, of course, must be fulfilled.

How are needs to be fulfilled? Two processes can be suggested. First, there are needs in relation to consumption. In this case, needs regulate production; as a result, needs are fulfilled through consumption. These are needs in relation to quantity. Second, there are needs in relation to direct production. This means a demand for new, quality production; by consumption, therefore, needs are fulfilled. I would like to emphasize that needs have both a quantitative and qualitative aspect. This is because development is a concept relating to quality. More precisely, and quite apart from the conceptual level, there cannot actually be quality without quantity nor, for that matter, quantity unrelated to quality. In social development, therefore, we must grasp both the aspects of quantity and quality of production as a composite whole.

Another perspective on the analysis of needs is to consider them or, the same three levels as production and consumption. In order to achieve balanced social development, needs have to be met on all three levels. The following figure provides a graphic illustration of the relationship between political, social, and individual needs. The shaded area represents the overlap between needs on these three levels. However, things are not so Ripple - political, social, an,] individual needs have their own respective hierarchical structures.

Political, social, individual needs

As I have already pointed our, moreover, the perspective of this analysis is that of the sociology of intra-species. Hence, Spaceship Earth provides the perspective on human society - since mankind is one species. By the same token, if culture is regarded as the Sam as a species in animal taxonomy, then one cultural area becomes the object of analysis. (Here lies my reason for having stressed biosociology; it is also here that the main point of my discussion lies.) In addition, by taking this perspective, society on various levels, from the state to the community, can become independent objects of analysis.

The purpose of the above discussion was to clarify a framework for analysing the role and meaning of production, consumption, and needs. it is still necessary, however, in analysis of actual problems, that the analysis be carried out with respect to various suitable systems.