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Philosophers argue that a person is any being that is conscious and sentient, and has an ongoing sense of itself as an entity continuing to exist in time.

By this definition, a "person" need not be a human being, and might include animals, intelligent machines or aliens.

In common usage, the word "person" is usually taken to be synonymous with "human being".

Qualifying as a "person"

There is great debate on when a human being actually becomes a person. According to one opinion it is when they take their first breath.