What is a person? What are the characteristics of personhood?

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Simply put, a person is defined as a single human being. A person is capable of autonomous and sentient thought and possess their own consciousness and sense of morality. People are self-aware and capable of learning and coping with new situations. Most nations afford a person a certain legal status. The United States Constitution grants each person the right to "life, liberty, and property," among other, more specific rights. This separates people from animals and inanimate objects, which lack the same legal protections and philosophical status.

Personhood simply refers to having the qualities or status of a person. All living people, as we usually define them, possess personhood. However, if we look deeper into this topic, the definition of personhood becomes murky.

Many philosophers have spent a lot of time examining the definition of a person and personhood. It is possible that a machine could be built to be self-aware and capable of conscious thought. Does that mean it possesses...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 584 words.)

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