Categories of Personhood

Hello all,
I wish to know: does anyone know the categories that make a person? Am trying to put together a list.

Like how “person” is used to define Corporations too?

From a legal point of view, the two first categories are physical and moral persons.

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The concept of “incorporating” IS ‘legal’. So maybe “legal person” itself would be a distinct class itself.

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The corporate law used to say that “corporations have rights similar to but distinct from peronals rights”/

The SCOTUS changed that and dropped the “distinct from” which made corporate rights exactly the same as personal rights.

A good place to start might be:

The move is inherent to capitalism and was realized in Europe much earlier.

It is a legal fiction which is very useful.

Before it was done, an investor in a business was legally liable of any debt incurred by it. By making the business a legal distinct person, the investors are protected and are not liable beyond their investment, as long as they don’t break the law and don’t participate in the management of the business.

Tru Dat. Then by and by, we wind up with this

To “incorporate” means to “make into a person” (the root is ‘corp’ for “body” such as a corpse is) The idea is to make sure that the entity is required to OBEY the same laws as any other legel ‘person’. That has to be done when liability is limited because the human owners are relatively ‘anonymous’. Without that, the corporation would be able to be as inhumane as they choose without accountability.

One of the problems comparing corporate rights with individual rights is that when a corporation fails its stockholders are exempt from liability, whereas individuals who fail are held to account.

A perfect example is found in bankruptcy. A corporation can declare bankruptcy and stiff all the creditors without holding the stockholders personally responsible for the debt.
An individual cannot declare bankruptcy without having to sell his assets.


When an individual applies for personal bankruptcy, they’re required to submit to a means test to prove that they can’t pay their debts. By contrast, businesses have no such requirement. Another major difference between personal and business bankruptcies is the ability to cancel contracts .