Difference Between Person and Human

Person vs Human

A person is a human being and a human being is a person. At least this is what most people believe and this is why these two terms are used interchangeably as if they were synonyms. But are they really same or is there any difference? In this article we shall attempt to highlight differences between a person and a human to make you aware of the context in which to use the terms correctly.

A human being is not just a skeleton of bones and flesh; he is much more than that. It is human body that is composed of flesh, blood and bones. Human soul is composed of human spirit. A human being is a psychosomatic entity that is a union of human flesh and human spirit. It is when we refer to this human flesh that we talk of persons. Even a hard core criminal is a person as he possesses human flesh, but such persons cannot be said to possess human spirit. The two words human and humanity are related and persons having humane qualities of sympathy and compassion are humans.

A person is a human being as long as his body and soul are connected or united. A man on death bed, having lost all his intellectual and emotional capacities is still a human being. But a hard core criminal, who does not have any feelings towards fellow human beings and is ready to kill other human beings at the drop of a hat, is certainly not behaving as a human being. Yes, he is a person but devoid of qualities that go into making a person a human being.

However, this is a subject of a huge philosophical debate that never seems to end as people have opinions for and against this view of dichotomy between a human and a person.

In brief:

Difference between Person and Human

• A person is an entity that has been given legal and social rights but a human is a person who exhibits certain qualities that are characteristic of human beings alone

• A human is a psychosomatic union of human flesh and human spirit.


  • Angel

    I think you’re trying to romanticize the word human. No matter how despicable their crimes a human being is a human. We may not like it and are ashamed to claim them as one of our own, but no matter how we wish otherwise there is nothing that can be done to remove them from the human species. Trying to call them anything other than that is as ridiculous as someone laying claim that their dog isn’t a dog – because he bit someone.

  • Angle

    This is entirely arbitrary. You are spreading disinformation based on a parochial and erroneous perception of a word.

  • Mark Clark

    The actual difference is way bigger. Human is the flesh and bone individual. Person is your legal corporate fiction made up for you by your birth certificate.

  • Kris

    Flawed arguments. It presumes that a human soul/spirit exists. Souls/spirits are not proven nor disproven. Next time find arguments that work in both cases – both when a soul/spirit exists and when a soul/spirit does not exist.