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Chapter 2

The Nature of Human Person

Learning Objectives:

The learners are expected to:

1.Describe the nature of human person;

2.Identify the importance of the person’s ability and capacity; and
3.Describe a person’s unique qualities that make him/her a
productive social being.
The Human Person

Estanol (2007) defines the human person, as having the physical, spiritual,
emotional, and intellectual attributes.

St. Thomas Aquinas describes the human person as having physical and
spiritual substance because he/she has a soul and created by the Supreme
Being with a divine purpose.

Dictionaries define the human person as a self-conscious animal.

Characteristics of a Human Person:

Babor (2007), in his book, The Human Person: Not Real, But Existing,
discusses the several characteristics of a human person, namely:

1.Rational being; free to think; to give reasons; can distinguish between right
and wrong.
2.Born free; has a freedom to do; but every person is responsible for his own
3.Unique. Every person has his own perception, and different set of values and
priorities in life.
4.Intrinsically a social being
5.All living things are sexual by nature, but the uniqueness of expression of a
person’s sexuality makes him different. - person’s emotions, attitudes, feelings,
actions, and thoughts in sexual activity
Biblical Views:

The human person has superiority and dignity inherited from the Supreme Being.

Genesis 1:26-27 God created man and woman in His own image and likeness
and made them masters of the fish of the sea, the birds, the heaven, the earth,
the wild beast and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth.

Agbuya (1997) human person was designated by God to exercise dominion over
other creatures in his everyday use of freedom, search happiness and openness
in the world around him.

As a human being makes him as a true person which includes special gifts and
talents of thinking, loving, longing for happiness, and making decision.
Philosophical Views:

Protagoras - a human person is the measure of all things that exist and of all
things that do not exist.

Plato – claimed that the perfect human being does not exist in this world because
what is in this world is just an imperfect copy of humanity’s original self in the realm
of ideas.

Parmenides – posited that a person has knowledge of something that exists, for a
person who does not exist is nothing.

A human person like other animals has external and internal organs. A
human being becomes evident when he starts to share his thoughts and ideas with

Maguigad – in his book Philosophy of the Human Being, explains the different
philosophical views of the human person. These are the following:

1. Conservatism 3. Socialism
2. Liberalism 4. Facism
Classical Greek Views

human person = rational animal (animal’s vegetative sensory and

rational element are integrated within his being); needs the power of thought,
reason and cognition.

material (body) – food to grow, develop and reproduce; needs sensory

perceptions to gain knowledge.

and spiritual (soul) – God gave free will to choose, to decide, or shape
his life; always responsible for his actions.
Sociological Views

Salcedo (2004) – states that people look at this social world or at the various
ways that human beings behave in a social way.

society or social world referring to behavior of human beings.

San Juan (2007) – proposes common ideas about human person.

1.Social animals
2.Social behavior is learned.
3.Have to focus our attention on the groups to which belong – the society.
4.Sociology – is a discipline that looks into the totality of relationships in an
individual’s life. Sociologists do not restrict their studies to a single dimension of
an individual’s life (economics, politics, history, geography, psychology and so

Theorizes that a person’s behavior and hi/her relationship with others are
shaped by his inner feelings and self-image.

Maslow presented the levels of hierarchy of needs in his theory of


1.Physiological Needs – biological and basic needs such as food, water, and
clothing. Essential for survival
2.Safety needs – security and protection from physical and emotional harm
3.Social needs – affection , sense of belongingness, friendship
4.Self-esteem needs – achievement, mastery and confidence derived from
recognition, respect and attention.
5.Self-actualization – has reached the peak of his potential
Roger’s person-centered therapy theory

every person has within him an inherent desire for a positive

transformation and the development of his capacities. He possesses an innate
goodness no matter how imprudent his actions are.

the society is the sounding board of reflections of life. So that the

individual can realize his problem and create a solution for it. However, it is the
individual who will eventually create his own path and not the people around him.
He is the only one qualified to choose the path that he should take.