Terminology Tuesday: Personhood
The unique status shared by human beings, angels and God that involves the power to think, act and value. Traditional theories of personhood stress that persons are substances of a rational nature. More contemporary theories emphasize the ability to act and have emotions, and these often link personhood to the ability to use language and relations to other persons. Many debates in ethics, such as the moral status of the fetus, hinge on views of personhood and on when personhood begins and ends for humans. See also identity, personal; personalism; self.
Evans, C. Stephen, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002).