C.S. Lewis wrote that the more we use a word outside of its true meaning, the less meaning that word will eventually have. Take for example the word “gentleman”, which used to mean someone who was independently wealthy and did not need to work. The term was used so often outside this definition, that now we simply address people as “ladies and gentlemen” without it having any real meaning at all.
We’re at risk of this happening to the word “person”. I assume that most people probably use the term to refer to all human beings (who can also be referred to as “natural persons”). However, the words “person” and “personhood” are starting to provide we “natural persons” with strange peers.
Are corporations people? And if these invisible and artificial creations are “persons”, does saying someone is not a person really truly mean anything at all?by