Monday, May 4, 2009

People- definition

as a mass noun, people is the suppletive plural of person. However, the word persons is sometimes used in place of people, especially when it would be ambiguous with its collective sense (e.g. missing persons instead of missing people). It can collectively refer to all humans or it can be used to identify a certain ethnic or religious group. For example, "people of color" is a phrase used in North America to describe non-whites

The concept of personhood (who is a person within a society) is the fundamental component of any selective concept of people. A distinction is maintained in philosophy and law between the notions "human being", or "man", and "person". The former refers to the species, while the latter refers to a rational agent (see, for example, John Locke's Essay concerning Human Understanding II 27 and Immanuel Kant's Introduction to the Metaphysic of Morals). Central issues of interest to people are the understanding of the human condition and the meaning of life, and survival. Religion, philosophy, and science show or represent modes and aspects of inquiry which attempt to investigate and understand the nature, behavior, and purpose of people. Sociology, economics, and politics represent modes by which people investigate how to maximize a collective survival strategy.
Islam recognizes the People of the Book as members of monotheistic faiths founded upon revelation related to its own faith. By contrast, in Judaism, the Jews are often said to be the chosen people, a concept modified by the Christian doctrine of the Elect.

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