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- Created 2012-02-26
is a being, such as a
, that has certain capacities or attributes constituting
, which in turn is defined differently by different authors in different disciplines, and by different cultures in different times and places. In ancient Rome, the word "
" (Latin) or "
" (πρόσωπον: Greek) originally referred to the masks worn by actors on stage. The various masks represented the various "personae" in the stage play.
The current concept of
was developed during the
debates of the IV and V centuries in contrast to the word
. During the theological debates, some
(concepts) were needed so that the debates could be held on common basis to all theological schools. The purpose of the debate was to establish the relation, similarities and differences between the Λóγος/"Verbum" and God. The philosophical concept of
arose, taking the word "
" (πρόσωπον) from the
. Therefore, Christus (the Λóγος/"Verbum") and God were defined as different "persons". This concept was applied later to the Holy Ghost, the angels and to all human beings.
Since then, a number of important changes to the word's meaning and use have taken place, and attempts have been made to redefine the word with varying degrees of adoption and influence. In addition to the question of
, of what makes a being count as a person to begin with, there are further questions about
: both about what makes any particular person that particular person instead of another, and about what makes a person at one time the same person as he or she was or will be at another time despite any intervening changes. The common plural of "person", "
", is often used to refer to an entire
(as in "a people"), so the plural "persons" is often used in contexts which require precision such as
from Wikipedia (last updated: 25 May), licensed under
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