Developing a theory of historically-created needs, and exploring applications to modernization and development

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Politics


The project aims to:
1. Develop a distinctive conception of historically-created needs, focusing on calls to action (rather than on ethical demands).
2. As applied philosophy this conception of need can then be used for analysing and evaluating needs claims.
3. This new framework can then be applied to case studies relevant to modernization theory and development policy.


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publication icon
Boss G (2021) Basic human needs: abstraction, indeterminacy and the political account of need in Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
1925979 Studentship ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 30/12/2020 George Boss
Description School Visit (London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Around 40 pupils attended a talk on the life and work of Karl Marx, in which I explored the Marxian reading I have been developing, and contrasted this to traditional readings. This led to plenty of discussion and some follow-up questions from students after the talk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018