The term person is used informally to mean human. Human beings, humans or man (Origin 1590–1600 L homō man OL hemō the earthly one (see Humus But in the fields of law, philosophy, medicine, and others, it means the presence of certain characteristics that grant a certain legal, ethical, or moral standing. Law is a system of rules enforced through a set of Institutions used as an instrument to underpin civil obedience politics economics and society Philosophy is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence knowledge truth beauty justice validity mind and language Medicine is the art and science of healing It encompasses a range of Health care practices evolved to maintain and restore Human Health by the
For example, in many jurisdictions, the law allows a group of human beings to act together as a single composite entity called a corporation, and the corporation is considered a legal person with standing to sue or be sued in court. A corporation is a separate legal entity usually used to conduct business Note This Wikipedia entry deals with the legal concept legal person. In philosophy and medicine, person may mean only humans who are capable of certain kinds of thought, and thus exclude embryos, early fetuses, or adults with certain types of brain damage. 
Discussion of what constitutes a person can occur on several different levels:
Discourse on personhood may combine different elements of the previous categories. Mysticism (from the Greek grc μυστικός mystikos, an initiate of a Mystery religion) is the pursuit of communion with identity Literature is the Art of written works Literally translated the word means "acquaintance with letters" (from Latin littera letter Rhetoric has had many definitions no simple definition can do it justice An allegory (from αλλος allos "other" and el αγορευειν agoreuein "to speak in public" is a figurative mode of representation A plot device is an element introduced into a story solely to advance or resolve the plot of the story Fantasy is a Genre that uses magic and other Supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting For example, a legal scholar and economist might define a person as "any being with the neurological prerequisites to understand moral consequences and take his life morally seriously. " (Markovits)
The principle of absolutism is often combined with an analytic definition of persons as co-equal participants in a given society, based on citizenship, nationality, or common humanity. In philosophy universalism is a doctrine or school claiming universal facts can be discovered and is therefore understood as being in opposition to Relativism. Nationality is a relationship between a Person and their State of Origin, Culture, association Affiliation and/or Loyalty This combination is common in such instruments as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (Déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen is a fundamental document of the French Revolution, defining The Universal Declaration of Human Rights ( UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly ( 10 December 1948 at Palais
A person can have recognition, existence, and legal capacity under the law (legal personhood). Discussion As an aspect of the Social contract between a state and its Citizens the state adopts a role of protector to the weaker and more vulnerable members Note This Wikipedia entry deals with the legal concept legal person. There are various operative definitions for legal personhood, but they all rely on formal, prescriptive definitions that are falsifiable. Falsifiability (or "refutability" is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment Most such definitions form the basis of specific rights that may be exercised or enforced (such as human rights, custody rights, conservatorship rights, and voting rights). A right is a legal or moral Entitlement or Permission. Rights are of vital importance in theories of Justice and deontological ethics Human rights refers to the "basic Rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled Child custody and '''guardianship''' are Legal terms which are sometimes used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a Parent and his Conservatorship is a legal concept to be found in the law of many states of the United States of America, whereby an entity is established by Court order, or in the Suffrage (from the Latin suffragium, meaning "voting tablet" and figuratively "right to vote" probably from suffrago "hough" and originally Such definitions may also impose obligations or duties that carry a penalty if they are breached.
Some legally operative definitions of person go beyond the scope of establishing rights and obligations for individual human beings. For example, in many jurisdictions, any artificial legal entity (such as a school, business, or non-profit organization) is considered a legal person. Note This Wikipedia entry deals with the legal concept legal person. As another example, the United States Constitution has historically applied different definitions of person for the purpose of allotting seats in the House of Representatives. The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme Law of the United States. The Fourteenth Amendment ( Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution is one of the post- Civil War Reconstruction Amendments, first
Personhood goes to the heart of many debates over the rights and treatment to which various types of living beings are entitled. Discussion often revolves around the assumption that the qualities of intelligence or self-awareness grant certain rights. Historically, beings believed not to have these qualities, or to have them in lesser amounts, are considered non-persons and are exploited. The term " exploitation " may carry two distinct meanings The act of utilizing something for any purpose Such exploitation has taken the form of slavery or medical torture for humans, and cruelty and vivisection for animals. As a social-economic system slavery is a legal institution under which a Person (called "a slave" is compelled to work for another Medical torture (also known as a medical interrogation) describes the involvement and sometimes active participation of medical professionals in acts of Torture, either Cruelty to animals refers to the infliction of unnecessary Suffering or Harm to animals A contrasting philosophical view is utilitarianism, which ultimately bases moral decision-making on the ability of a being to perceive pain or pleasure, rather than cognitive qualities per se. Utilitarianism is the idea that the moral worth of an action is solely determined by its contribution to overall Utility, that is its contribution to happiness
Human beings represent the most prevalent conceptual definition of person. Human beings, humans or man (Origin 1590–1600 L homō man OL hemō the earthly one (see Humus Some philosophers, such as Peter Singer of Princeton University, regard certain types of animals with high cognitive abilities and a degree of societal development as persons, and argue that some human beings — for example, those with certain types of brain damage — are not. Peter Albert David Singer (born July 6, 1946 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) is an Australian philosopher. Princeton University is a private Coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. The brain is the center of the Nervous system in animals All Vertebrates and the majority of Invertebrates have a brain Should other intelligent life ever be discovered beyond those known to science, similar questions would be relevant in establishing personhood. Sapience is often defined as Wisdom, or the ability of an organism or entity to act with appropriate judgment.
Personhood is held by some to be an attribute of more than just human beings. Some religions specify deities as occupying the place of personhood in many different forms. It is not uncommon for spiritual and archetypal roles to be depicted as persons.
For example, in the Book of Proverbs the attribute Wisdom is personified:
|“||Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:||”|
Scripture scholars differ on whether and the extent to which this and other similar personification represents an attribute of the Divine Nature as made manifest in the form of a distinct 'person'. The Book of Proverbs is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh, and thus also one of the books of the Old Testament. God is the principal or sole Deity in Religions and other belief systems that worship one deity.
Personhood is frequently examined through any of several artistic modalities, especially in literary works. In fictional works, fantasy and science fiction often explore the question of personhood by relaxing one or more of the common characteristics associated with it, and then exploring the ramifications and possible consequences. Fiction is the telling of stories which are not real More specifically fiction is an imaginative form of Narrative, one of the four basic Rhetorical modes. For example, Isaac Asimov introduced the three laws of robotics by relaxing the assumption that personhood is restricted to biological organisms. Isaac Asimov (c January 2 1920 &ndash April 6 1992 ˈaɪzək ˈæzɪmʌv originally Исаак Озимов but now transcribed into Russian as, was a Russian In Science fiction, the Three Laws of Robotics are a set of three rules written by Isaac Asimov, which almost all positronic robots appearing in his fiction As another example, David Brin explored the attributes of personhood — especially identity, autonomy, and agency — by depicting a world in which characters could copy themselves, in the novel Kiln People. Glen David Brin, PhD (born October 6, 1950) is an American scientist and award-winning author of Science fiction. Kiln People is a 2002 Science fiction Novel by David Brin. It was published in the UK under the title Kil'n People  A notable example is the character Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Star Trek The Next Generation ( STTNG or TNG) is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning science fiction television program created by Gene Roddenberry In one episode Data's status as a legal person was questioned and a hearing was carried out to determine if Data, an android who lacked human emotions but otherwise met or exceeded all other human mental characteristics such as self-awareness, imagination, creativity etc qualified as a person.
Philosophers have expounded on every dimension — from the purely analytical to the metaphysical — in discourses on personhood. Philosophy is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence knowledge truth beauty justice validity mind and language Conceptually, a person is defined by the characteristics of reasoning, consciousness, and persistent personal identity. Reason involves the ability to think understand and draw Conclusions in an Abstract way as in Human thinking Consciousness has been defined loosely as a constellation of attributes of Mind such as Subjectivity, Self-awareness, Sentience, and the In Philosophy, personal identity refers to the essence of a self-conscious person that which makes him or her unique The English philosopher John Locke defined a person as "a thinking intelligent Being, that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing in different times and places; which it does only by that consciousness, which is inseparable from thinking, and as it seems to me essential to it" (Essay on Humane Understanding, Book 2, Chapter 27, Section 9). England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704 was an English Philosopher.
According to Boethius:
John Locke emphasized the idea of a living being that is conscious of itself as persisting over time (and hence able to have conscious preferences about its own future). John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704 was an English Philosopher.
In recent years a kind of consensus among secular scholars has emerged, which might be referred to as personhood theory. This is strongly influenced by Locke's approach. The criteria a person must have in being a person are one or more of the following:
Neo-Kantian philosophers over the last two decades have emphasized that conscious awareness requires both:
Both of these capacities are required for a subject of experience, action, thought, or self-reflection to exist, at least in the physically embodied, world-accessing manner of humans (and presumably other intelligent animals). Not to be confused with the subiectum or Hypokeimenon in Aristotelianism As Kant wrote:
Without sensibility no object would be given to us, and without understanding none would be thought. Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind. (Critique of Pure Reason, A 51 = B 75). The Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der reinen Vernunft by Immanuel Kant, first published in 1781, second edition 1787, is one
For those who consider an embodied capacity for subjectivity as necessary for personhood, these abstract constraints are quite relevant to the personhood theory debate. Advocates of alternative positions, such as a biological species or potentiality criterion, would instead need to provide arguments against embodied subjectivity as a basis for personhood. For example, one might argue that property claims are made by immaterial minds on immature material bodies, though any claim as to the nature of such minds would be necessarily speculative and would typically involve an argument for Cartesian substance dualism (see mind-body problem). Philosophy of mind is the branch of Philosophy that studies the nature of the Mind, Mental events Mental functions mental properties
In addition speculatively, there are three other likely categories of beings where personhood might be at issue:
Such questions are used by philosophers to clarify thinking concerning what it means to be human, or living, or a person. Extraterrestrial life is Life originating outside of the Earth. Artificial life (commonly Alife or alife) is a field of study and an associated art form which examine Systems related to Life, its processes In Medicine, a prosthesis (plural prostheses) is an Artificial extension that replaces a missing Body part. The brain is the center of the Nervous system in animals All Vertebrates and the majority of Invertebrates have a brain A brain tumor is any intracranial Tumor created by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, normally either in the Brain itself ( Neurons
The personhood theory has become a pivotal issue in the interdisciplinary field of bioethics. Bioethics is the philosophical study of the ethical controversies brought about by advances in Biology and Medicine. While historically most humans did not enjoy full legal protection as persons (women, children, non-landowners, minorities, slaves, etc. ), from the late 18th through the late 20th century, being born as a member of the human species gradually became secular grounds for the basic rights of liberty, freedom from persecution, and humanitarian care.
Since modern movements emerged to oppose animal cruelty (and advocate vegetarian or vegan lifestyles) and theorists like Turing have recognized the possibility of artificial minds with human-level competence, the identification of personhood protections exclusively with human species membership has been challenged. Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes Meat (including game and slaughter by-products Fish (including Shellfish and other sea Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS (ˈt(jʊ(ərɪŋ (23 June 1912 &ndash 7 June 1954 was an English Mathematician On the other hand, some proponents of human exceptionalism (also referred to by its critics as speciesism) have countered that we must institute a strict demarcation of personhood based on species membership in order to avoid the horrors of genocide (based on propaganda dehumanizing one or more ethnicities) or the injustices of forced sterilization (as occurred in the U. Human exceptionalism refers to a belief that Human beings have special status in Nature based on their unique capacities Speciesism involves assigning different values or rights to beings on the basis of their Species membership Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction in whole or in part of an ethnic racial religious or national group Sterilization (also spelled sterilisation) is a surgical technique leaving a male or female unable to reproduce. S. to people with low I. Q. scores and prisoners).
While the former advocates tend to be comfortable constraining personhood status within the human species based on basic capacities (e. g. excluding human stem cells, fetuses, and bodies that cannot recover awareness), the latter often wish to include all these forms of human bodies even if they have never had awareness (which some would call pre-people) or had awareness, but could never have awareness again due to massive and irrecoverable brain damage (some would call these post-people). The Vatican has recently been advancing a human exceptionalist understanding of personhood theory, while other communities, such as Christian Evangelicals in the U. Evangelicalism is a theological movement tradition and system of beliefs most closely associated with Protestant Christianity, which identifies with the Gospel S. have sometimes rejected the personhood theory as biased against human exceptionalism. Of course, many religious communities (of many traditions) view the other versions of the personhood theory perfectly compatible with their faith, as do the majority of modern Humanists. Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appealing to universal
The theoretical landscape of the personhood theory has been altered recently by controversy in the bioethics community concerning an emerging community of scholars, researchers, and activists identifying with an explicitly Transhumanist position, which supports morphological freedom, even if a person changed so much as to no longer be considered a member of the human species (by whatever standard is used to determine that). Transhumanism (sometimes symbolized by >H or H+) a term often used as a synonym for " Human enhancement " is an international intellectual Morphological freedom designates a proposed Civil right of a Person to either maintain or modify his or her own body, on his or her own terms through In Biology, a species is one of the basic units of Biological classification and a Taxonomic rank.
Closely related to the debate on the definition of personhood is the relationship between persons', individual rights, and ethical responsibility. Individual rights refer to the Rights of Individuals in contrast with Group rights. Ethics is a major branch of Philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life Moral responsibility can refer to two different but related things Many philosophers would agree that all and only people are expected to be ethically responsible, and that all people deserve a varying degree of individual rights. Human rights refers to the "basic Rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled There is less consensus on whether only people deserve individual rights and whether people deserve greater individual rights than non-people. The rights of animals are an example of contention on this issue. "Animal liberation" redirects here for other uses see Animal liberation (disambiguation.
The idea of extending personhood to all animals has the support of legal scholars such as Alan Dershowitz and Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School, and animal law courses are now taught in 92 out of 180 law schools in the United States. Alan Morton Dershowitz (born September 1, 1938) is an American Lawyer, Jurist, and political commentator. Laurence Henry Tribe (born October 10, 1941) is a professor of Constitutional law at Harvard Law School and the Carl M Harvard Law School (also known as Harvard Law or HLS) is one of the professional Graduate schools of Harvard University. Animal law is a combination of statutory and case law in which the nature – legal social or biological – of nonhuman animals is an important factor  On May 9, 2008, Columbia University Press will publish Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation by Prof. Columbia University Press is a University press based in New York City, and affiliated with Columbia University. Gary L. Francione of Rutgers University School of Law, a collection of writings that summarizes his work to date and makes the case for non-human animals as persons. Gary Lawrence Francione (born 1954 is an American legal scholar Rutgers The State University of New Jersey (also known as Rutgers University) is the largest institution for higher education in the state of New Jersey
There are also hypothetical persons, sentient non-human persons such as sentient extraterrestrial life and self aware machines. A popular Novel and loosely based animated series called Ghost in the Shell frequently touches on the potential of inorganic sentience, while classical works of fiction and fantasy regarding extraterrestrials have challenged people to reconsider long held traditional definitions. is a Japanese Cyberpunk Manga created by Masamune Shirow, and first published in 1989 in Young
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