We may also say that an automobile "needs" gasoline and other fluids. Such requirements, however, are only derivative: all the "needs" of an automobile, or any other functional entity created by humans, can be imputed back to needs of human beings. An automobile must have gasoline in order to fulfill the needs of one or more human beings for transportation.
Occasionally we even hear references to "mankind's needs." "Mankind" or "humankind" or "society" as such has no needs, except again perhaps in a derivative sense. Social organizations are often highly sophisticated functional entities, sometimes involving causal relationships of remarkable complexity (as we shall see later). They are not, however, literal living organisms. Section 2 will elaborate further on the nature of "society." For now we should observe that just as a human benefits from an automobile, so he or she may benefit from social institutions: both are functional entities. The so-called "needs of society" are derivative, just as are "automotive needs": both arise from needs of human individuals.