Criticizing Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Criticizing Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Updated: Mar 30

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is objectively universal to all human beings, like it was meant to appear as. I disagree that these needs are in the correct priority for all human beings, and for some humans, they might as well don’t need some of the needs mentioned in the hierarchy.

Humans are subjective beings, so naturally an objective hierarchy of needs, for subjective entities, is quite pretentious and over-generalizing in my opinion. There are some people, for example, that have various special needs, needs that do not appear in the Maslow’s hierarchy, making his theory not really universal and correct for all people that have lived, that are living, and will live.

Also, I disagree with the Maslow’s definition of self-actualization, as it’s technically impossible to actualize oneself to the fullest, i.e, actualize the self perfectly.

According to this logic, even by asking this question, you have successfully actualized your authentic desire to find knowledge, and I have successfully actualized myself by granting you knowledge.

Therefore, I don’t really think you can actually know for sure if you have actualized yourself in accordance to Maslow’s theory, because the term “full potential” is a very vague term. Logically, however, “achieving oneself to the fullest” can mean, dedicating every second of your existence into self-actualization, and if you have missed even one second of self-actualization, you technically failed in “achieving yourself to the fullest”.

This is because the term “fullest” follows the same logic as “everything”, “perfect” and “nothing” do - it’s enough for one thing to oppose the rest of the things (or, in case of “nothing” - the rest of a void), in order for each of the terms to be incorrect.

Hence why the most logical solution I find to this issue is that of the moment, that is enough to create the phenomenon of the desired definition. If you expressed yourself in an honest way, then doing so, whether once or regularly, is enough for the phenomenon of self-actualization to occur.


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© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher