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Relational Dimensions of the Human Being

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Overview

The human person is a relational being. One initial aspect of this is the human-to-nature relationship. Humans use nature, as other animals do, to obtain food, protect themselves and acquire a habitat, but through their work humans also transform nature for many different purposes. Some theories are anthropocentric, placing human beings above nature. Sometimes they are presented as tyrants, at others as stewards caring for the environment and seeking sustainability. Other approaches see the human person merely as one living species among others (biocentrism) or as a mere part of the ecosystem (ecocentrism).

A second aspect is the relationship among human beings and a natural tendency to live in society (sociability). We establish “one-to-one” relationships with others and form bonds with social groups to which we belong. Interpersonal relationships involve reciprocal knowledge, attraction, communication, dialogue and the possibility of collaboration or cooperation. Regarding the relationship between a person and the social group to which he or she belongs, three views can be distinguished: social atomism, social organism and community.

The third aspect is the human-deity relationship or, more broadly, the relationship between humans and something transcendent that gives them a vision of their place in the cosmos and the full meaning of their lives. People understand and live their lives in view of their ultimate meaning and value (spirituality), which often involves believing, relating and worshiping God or some deity (religion).

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  • Relational Dimension
  • Human Person
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  • Real Entity
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© 2014 Domènec Melé and César González Cantón

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Melé, D., Cantón, C.G. (2014). Relational Dimensions of the Human Being. In: Human Foundations of Management. IESE Business Collection. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137462619_10

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