Person vs Human


I was wondering: philosophically, and theologically, what is the difference between a person and a human?

Thank you for your time.

God Bless!

A human corpse is still a human, but it is not a person. One might say a dead person, but what we mean by that is that they have ceased to be a person. After all, how can a person be a person without life? If there hypothetical aliens, could they be persons? Sure. The Godhead consists of three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I think the best way to describe what a person is is something that has reason and consciousness. Consciousness is hard to define, but a major part of it is self-awareness and being able to distinguish between the “imagined” and the “actual.”

A human is simply genetic. I am a human because I am a homo sapient. It is in my DNA. My personhood may somehow be linked, but they are clearly not the same thing.

My best answer.

I don’t know, when my dad died, he was and still is a person, my dad. :shrug:

Sure, but it was not the human corpse. A soul can be a person. It is not the physical aspect that makes a person, but the nonphysical. Right?

I think one thing that might be a dilemma is that a human soul is still a human soul, which muddles the distinction.

In the Thomist view, the soul is the “form” of the body, meaning that a human being is made up of a particular kind of soul, i.e., a human one, that enlivens a body (composed of material substances arranged in the form imprinted into it by the soul) to make it human.

Personhood would be the unique aspects of a “self” that make each particular human unique and identifiable as who (person) they are, as distinct from what (human being) they are.

Thank you

‘Human’ is an individual or biological material of the species homo sapiens sapiens (and possibly some of our close extinct relatives such as neanderthals). They can be alive or dead. A ‘person’ is a real human, or an imagined human, who other humans recognise as human. Thus persons can exist, like I do to those who meet or have contact with me, or not exist, like Thor (who existed only in the mind). I have seen many case in which the ‘person’ is not longer ‘in’ the human, but is still treated as the ‘person’ by loved ones. The person is real to them but not to others or (I would say) in reality.

That is a good definition, as far as it goes. We generally consider persons to be those capable of at least subjective experience (that is, at its most basic, awareness of pleasure and pain) and some level of self-perception. This definition, however, both includes some nonhuman beings and excludes some human beings. It would include other animals such as chimpanzees, dolphins, elephants or wolves; while at the same time, it would exclude humans who are pre-sentient (that is, the majority of human foetuses that are deliberately aborted) or who are in a persistent vegetative state.

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