Person - Personhood


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, 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 reproductive rights, and in animal rights advocacy.

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

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Other articles related to "personhood":

Bancroft Davis - Role in Corporate Personhood Controversy
... Southern Pacific Railroad case, Davis is a key figure in the corporate personhood debate ... of a conflict of interest in the corporate personhood interpretation of the ruling ...
Sanctity Of Life Act - Summary - Findings
... The Sanctity of Life Act would have defined human life and legal personhood (specifically, natural personhood) as beginning at conception, "without regard to race, sex, age, health, defect ... § 8 to provide that legal personhood includes all Homo sapiens who are "born alive" ...
Beginning Of Human Personhood
... The beginning of human personhood is the period in an individual's life when he or she is recognized, or begins to be recognized, as a person ... The question of when and how personhood begins is often the nexus of controversy on issues such as abortion, stem cell research, reproductive rights, and fetal rights ...
Women And Animal Advocacy - History - Personhood, Women, and Animals
... Adams argues that personhood was until recently regarded as the preserve of the white European man, with everyone else deemed "other" – other races, other ...
Steven M. Wise - Animal Personhood
... animals, particularly primates, meet the criteria of legal personhood, and should therefore be awarded certain rights and protections ... His criteria for personhood are that the animal must be able to desire things, to act in an intentional manner to acquire those things, and must have a sense of self i.e ... Wise argues that these animals should have legal personhood bestowed upon them to protect them from "serious infringements upon their bodily integrity and bodily liberty." Without ...

Famous quotes containing the word personhood:

    Women do not have to sacrifice personhood if they are mothers. They do not have to sacrifice motherhood in order to be persons. Liberation was meant to expand women’s opportunities, not to limit them. The self-esteem that has been found in new pursuits can also be found in mothering.
    Elaine Heffner (20th century)