Marta Ciocca Vasino
Dussel Final Paper
Philosophy of Liberation and the Universal Needs
In this paper I would like to analyze Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and explain
how this theory, according to philosophy of liberation, cannot be applied on every human
being as Marlow was trying to prove. I will disprove this theory by following the ideas of
the Latin American philosopher, Enrique Dussel, one of the most influential philosophers
in the philosophy of liberation.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory stipulated by the psychologist Abraham
Maslow in 1943 and it affirms that human beings have all the same basic needs. This
theory is often represented in a pyramidal shape with the basic and most fundamental
physiological needs situated at the bottom with self-actualization at the top.
According to this theory, human being’s primary needs are: biological and
physiological needs as, air, food, drink, shelter, sleep etc., and these are followed by the
safety needs such as protection, security, order, law, and stability.
Going up in the
pyramid, we find the need of love and belongingness from family, friends, and partners.
After that we find the self-esteem needs such as achievement, social status, and
responsibility. Finally, at the top of the pyramid, we find the need of self-actualization as
personal growth, fulfillment and helping others.
I believe that everyone would agree with the first set of needs in Maslow’s theory,
without the primary resources we would not be able to survive, but what about the rest of
the hierarchy? Not everyone has the same needs, and not everyone puts those needs in the
same order. Maslow’s theory is very restricted and it does not take into account any other