Book 2 Identity and Values: Study Tools

Chapter 3 – Defining the Human Person

Vocabulary (click on the word for the definition)

agape love

agape love – Selfless love that recognizes the unique preciousness of each and every human being.


essence – The intrinsic nature of a thing; what a thing is at its very heart and core.

human being

human being – a being of human origin

human person

human person – a human being who possesses rights and deserves to be protected under the law. The most complete definition of a human person is: “a living being that contains a real and existing power to direct its own development toward fulfillment through perfect, unconditional, and infinite Truth, Love, Goodness, Beauty, and Unity, and will do so if all the proper conditions are met.”

nominal definition

nominal definition – Assigns a name to a thing. Nominal definitions are the basis of language, without which we could not communicate.

objective definition

objective definition – a definition that includes all known data about the entity being defined. Objective definitions are free of personal bias and allow the entity being defined to reveal itself

real definition

real definition – A complete definition that tries to get at the essence of what you are describing; not imposed arbitrarily, but observed and discovered from the intrinsic nature of the thing being defined.

subjective definition

subjective definition – a definition that is tainted with the personal biases of the observer, and/or does not include all known data about the entity being defined


telos – The Greek word for “end,” “final goal,” or “full purpose”; the point at which a thing reaches its fullest stage of development — the fullest form of its power; similar to “to ti en einai” which means, “what it was to be” or “what it was meant to be.”


transcend – To rise above or go beyond the limits of the physical or material world.

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