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A need is a thing that is necessary for an organism to live a healthy life.  Needs are distinguished from wants in that, in the case of a need, a deficiency causes a clear adverse outcome: a dysfunction or death.


  • Andrea: Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero.
    Galileo: No, Andrea: Unhappy is the land that needs a hero.
    • Bertolt Brecht, Life of Galileo (1938), Scene 12, p. 115
    • Variant translations: Pity the country that needs heroes.
      Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes.
  • For want of a Nail the Shoe was lost; for want of a Shoe the Horse was lost; and for want of a Horse the Rider was lost; being overtaken and slain by the Enemy, all for want of Care about a Horse-shoe Nail.
    • Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanack" (June 1758), in The Complete Poor Richard Almanacks, facsimile ed., vol. 2, p. 375, 377 (1970).
  • Human needs, although originally derived from biological necessity, are thus a result of the existence of society and are conditioned by the stage of development which society has reached.
    • Oskar R. Lange "The Subject Matter of Political Economy: Elementary Concepts"
  • I got a brand new pair of roller skates,
    You got a brand new key.
    I think that we should get together and try them out, to see ...
    I roller skated to your door at daylight [...]
    I'm okay alone, but you got something I need.

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