People


People

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An English Noun

The English noun people has two distinct fields of application:
* as a countable noun, a group of humans, either with unspecified traits, or specific characteristics (e.g. the people of Spain or the people of the Plains).
* 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. [Safire, William. "On language: People of color" "The New York Times", November 20, 1988. See also: "The Black Press at 150", editorial, "The Washington Post", March 18, 1977]

In philosophy and religion

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.

In politics

Various republics govern, or claim to govern, in the name of "the people". Both the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire used the Latin term "Senatus Populusque Romanus", (the Senate and People of Rome). This term was fixed to Roman legionary standards, and even after the Roman Emperors achieved a state of total personal autarchy, they continued to wield their power in the name of the Senate and People of Rome. A People's Republic is typically a Marxist or socialist one-party state that claims to govern on behalf of the people. Populism is another umbrella term for various political tendencies that claim to represent the people, usually with an implication that they serve the common people instead of the elite.

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".

In law

In criminal law, in certain jurisdictions, criminal prosecutions are brought in the name of "the People". Several U.S. states, including California, Illinois, and New York, use this style. [See, e.g., "California v. Anderson" 6 Cal. 3d 628; 493 P.2d 880; 100 Cal. Rptr. 152; 1972 Cal. LEXIS 154 (1972)] Citations outside the jurisdictions in question usually substitute the name of the state for the words "the People" in the case captions. [See generally, "", rule 10.] Four states — Massachusetts, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky — refer to themselves as "the Commonwealth" in case captions and legal process. [See Commonwealth (United States)] Other states, such as Indiana, typically refer to themselves as "the State" in case captions and legal process. The political theory underlying this format is that criminal prosecutions are brought in the name of the sovereign; thus, in these U.S. states, the "people" are judged to be the sovereign, even as in the United Kingdom and other dependencies of the British Crown, criminal prosecutions are typically brought in the name of the Crown. "The people" identifies the entire body of the citizens of a jurisdiction invested with political power or gathered for political purposes. ["Black's Law Dictionary", 5th ed., "People".]

ee also

* Ethnic group
* Lists of people
* Nationality
* Person
* Tribe

Footnotes

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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • People — Peo ple, n. [OE. peple, people, OF. pueple, F. peuple, fr. L. populus. Cf. {Populage}, {Public}, {Pueblo}.] 1. The body of persons who compose a community, tribe, nation, or race; an aggregate of individuals forming a whole; a community; a nation …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • People — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda People es una revista estadounidense de carácter semanal, que trata acerca de las celebridades e historias de interés general, publicada por Time Inc. En 2006, tenía una tirada de 3.750.000 ejemplares e ingresos… …   Wikipedia Español

  • People — Специализация: Знаменитости Периодичность …   Википедия

  • people — [ pipɶl ] adj. inv. et n. m. inv. • 1988; mot angl., de people journalism, genre journalistique ♦ Anglic. 1 ♦ Presse, magazine people, qui traite des vedettes, des personnalités (notamment de leur vie privée). 2 ♦ N. m. inv. Célébrité recherchée… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • People (EP) — People Extended Play von Animal Collective Veröffentlichung 23. Oktober 2006 (Australien) 22. Januar 2007 (UK) 23. Januar 2007 (US) Aufnahme 2005 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • people — [pē′pəl] n. pl. peoples [ME peple < Anglo Fr poeple, people < OFr pople < L populus, nation, crowd < ?] 1. a) all the persons of a racial, national, religious, or linguistic group; nation, race, etc. [the peoples of the world] b) a… …   English World dictionary

  • People — (von engl. people „Volk“, „Leute“) ist eine wöchentlich erscheinende US amerikanische Zeitschrift. Das Magazin wurde von Time Warner als Auslagerung der People Seite im Time Magazine herausgebracht und erscheint seit 1974. Die Zeitschrift… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • People — also People Magazine trademark a US magazine that contains short articles and pictures of famous people, especially people who appear on television and in films or sports people People 2 People, The trademark a British ↑tabloid newspaper sold… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • people — I noun citizenry, commonality, community, community at large, country, cultures, general public, humanity, inhabitants, multitude, nation, national group, nationality, persons, populace, population, race, society, state II index community, family …   Law dictionary

  • people — late 13c., humans, persons in general, from Anglo Fr. people, O.Fr. peupel, from L. populus people, of unknown origin, possibly from Etruscan. Replaced native FOLK (Cf. folk). Meaning body of persons comprising a community first recorded late 13c …   Etymology dictionary

  • people — people, persons Both words have been in use for several centuries to denote the plural of person, the difference usually being explained in terms of people referring to a group of which the exact number cannot be determined or is irrelevant and… …   Modern English usage


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