I am told its a self evident term and cannot be defined.I am of the view that perfection is relative for our minds are designed to perceive something perfect and something defective. Can I be proven to be wrong if I deviate from the usual perfection?

What are the examples of so called perfect things?

  • Just literally it means free from flaws or faults -- but keep in mind definitions aren't really on-topic here; maybe you could share a little bit more about the context and motivations of your problem here? What might have made this concern interesting or important to you? What hypotheses have you formed and what has your research turned up so far?
    – Joseph Weissman
    May 19, 2014 at 15:06
  • Also, seems related to philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/1280/…
    – Joseph Weissman
    May 19, 2014 at 15:06
  • 4
    This question appears to be off-topic because questions about the general definition of words should be on english.stackexchange.com. May 19, 2014 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


You can of course define "perfection"--consult a dictionary for an example.

And it is easy enough to come up with an example of perfection: a "perfect square" has four sides of exactly equal length with all interior angles at exactly 90 degrees. Everything else is less perfect of a square (and the above is the mathematical definition of a perfect square, so there's really no relativity about it).

Questions about what is perfectly good, however, run into all the problems that are encountered when asking about anything to do with "good", which is that people don't agree on what good is and generally do not manage to come into agreement via discussion.

However, if you postulate a function that can evaluate how good something is, G(.), you can use it to come up with a pretty natural version of what "perfection" means in that context, i.e. x is perfect if there is no conceivable y of the same kind of thing as x (let's assume we know how to determine this) such that G(y) > G(x). This is essentially the notion of perfection used in Anselm's ontological argument for God.

(Whether such a function is possible is another question. You probably would end up with a family of such functions, and then you would start talking about perfect-according-to Gk for a particular k.)

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