Thursday, November 19, 2009
Desires and needs
I have been working a lot, recently, on the concept of desire (a paper of mine in Italian can be found here). Then, a student made me aware of the fact that, apparently, Indian philosophers do not distinguish between needs and desires. Does this only depend on the fact that –being mainly Brahmins or monks– they did not have to worry about their basic needs? I think, rather, that it has to do with the fact that there are no 'pure' needs. Every need (first of all, the need for food) is influenced by our desires, so that, for instance, one strives for a piece of cheese or for an apple but not for a piece of meat.