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Personhood

An abstract painting of a person by Paul Klee. The concept of a person can be very challenging to define.

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The criteria for being a person... are designed to capture those attributes which are the subject of our most humane concern with ourselves and the source of what we regard as most important and most problematical in our lives.
— Harry G. Frankfurt

Personhood is the status of being a person. Defining personhood is a controversial topic in philosophy and law, and is closely tied to legal and political concepts of citizenship, equality, and liberty. According to law{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Specify |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[specify] }}, only a natural person or legal personality has rights, protections, privileges, responsibilities, and legal liability. Personhood continues to be a topic of international debate, and has been questioned during the abolition of slavery and the fight for women's rights, in debates about abortion, fetal rights, and in animal rights advocacy.<ref>For a discussion of non-human personhood, see Midgley, Mary. "Persons and non-persons", in Peter Singer (ed.) In Defense of Animals. Basil Blackwell, 1985, pp. 52-62.</ref>

Various debates have focused on questions about the personhood of different classes of entities. Historically, the personhood of animals, women, and slaves has been a catalyst of social upheaval. In most societies today, living adult humans are usually considered persons, but depending on the context, theory or definition, the category of "person" may be taken to include such non-human entities as animals, artificial intelligences, or extraterrestrial life, as well as legal entities such as corporations, sovereign states and other polities, or estates in probate.<ref>For corporations, see "Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit", The New York Times, January 21, 2010.</ref>

The category may exclude some human entities in prenatal development, and those with extreme mental impairment.


Person sections
Intro  Personhood  Personal identity  See also  References  Further reading  [[Person?section=External</a>_links|External</a> links]]  

Personhood
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