Re: MD economics of want and greed 4

From: Wim Nusselder (
Date: Wed Aug 27 2003 - 22:31:19 BST

  • Next message: Wim Nusselder: "Re: MD Forked tongue"

    Dear Ian,

    Thanks for your interest (26 Aug 2003 15:09:06 +0100). A pity that your
    reply doesn't seem to touch the core of what I wrote: the interplay of
    voluntary and involuntary behaviour.

    I use Maslow's categories of supposedly objective, universal needs only as
    an indication of the range of possible wants and of their development
    towards growing complexity in the course of history. I don't see a clear
    relation between his hierarchy and Pirsig's levels.

    Can you explain your sentence:
    'I hold a similar view of Pirsig that the actual levels chosen are only as
    absolute as the world-view you hold, but the Jungian framework is more than
    plausible, provided you're flexible about the motivations you attribute to
    specific layers.'
    It didn't make much sense to me.

    Did you refer to ideas of Maslow with 'the happiness perspective from within
    a stable system vs the
    hindsight perspective after some significant economic or cultural change'? I
    don't know them.

    Do you happen to know about a body of research of 'happiness' in different
    populations all over the world taking (approximately) Maslow's categories of
    needs as basis and trying to measure their relative levels of satisfaction?
    There must be, I guess, as Maslow started a whole school in psychology,
    hypothesized decreasing percentages of satisfaction when going up the
    hierarchy and presented (in 1943) his theory as a 'program or framework for
    future research'. (I'm not a psychologist. If you are, you will surely be
    able to direct me efficiently to such research.)

    As to the question to what extent people are born with certain attributes or
    learn them (which you refer to evolutionary psychology), I tend to rule the
    analysis of 'inborn' attributes out of economics, except that the IDEA that
    people should be treated differently relative to certain supposedly (not
    necessarily real) 'inborn' attributes functions as an organizing principle
    in primary and secondary economies. Whether these supposedly 'inborn'
    attributes chosen to distinguish 'those who belong' from those who don't
    (primary economies) or those who deserve power from those who deserve
    subjection are 'really' the result of nature of nurture is irrelevant to my

    With friendly greetings,


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