The history of Western humanism is marked by the emergence of philosophy as a theoretical way for investigating reality. Philosophy studies human beings in connection with the ultimate foundation of reality. Within Western thought, the tradition associated with this kind of research has forged three basic ways of conceiving of human beings¿ most radical and distinctive features: man as rational soul, as a self-conscious subject, and as a person. All three are based on important theoretical discoveries, but their coexistence has not always been exactly peaceful. Given that human beings cannot live without self-knowledge, the way we see ourselves has important socio-cultural and ethical consequences, which broaden our view of human beings, bringing to light previously hidden features of humanity. Attempting to recover and make sense of the diverse notions of what it is to be a human being is especially important when the very notion of being human is blurred and its normative value is threatened.