A person is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self - consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of social relations such as kinship, ownership of property, or legal responsibility. The defining features of personhood and consequently what makes a person count as a person differ widely among cultures and contexts.
In addition to the question of personhood, of what makes a being count as a person to begin with, there are further questions about personal identity and self : 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 they were or will be at another time despite any intervening changes.
The common plural of "person", " people ", is often used to refer to an entire nation or ethnic group (as in "a people "). The plural "persons" is often used in philosophical and legal writing.