Existential needs

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In biology, existential needs are physiologically necessary living conditions such as breathing, nutrition, light and warmth, which directly ensure the exchange of substances and energy and thus the self-preservation of a living being .

Plants, algae , some bacteria and archaea carry out photosynthesis and need light and other microorganisms live from chemosynthesis . Animals metabolize (metabolize) other organisms or their storage materials (such as carbohydrates, proteins or fats) during their digestion, see also chemotrophy .

In psychology and sociology, human existential needs , including primary needs, are a subset of the basic needs , serve self-preservation and are a prerequisite for maintaining life.

Examples of human existential needs are:

  • Breathing (clean air)
  • Food (clean drinking water, healthy food)
  • Warmth and sleep (clothing, shelter)

See also


  • Management-oriented business administration, Jean-Paul Thommen, 7th revised edition