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In modern English usage, being means conscious entity. (See also I think, therefore I am.) While this clearly includes all animal life and any spirit beings that might exist, there is currently no conclusive scientific evidence as to whether or not plants, minerals or viruses are conscious.

In the more general philosophical sense, a being is anything that can be said to 'be' in various senses of the word 'be.' 'Be' is a word, like many other words, that has different senses. So there are different senses of the word "be," and accordingly, one might say, there are different "kinds" of beings, or ways of being.

Aristotle is famous for having distinguished various sorts of beings. See category of being.

For philosophic consideration of the nature "being" in a verbal sense, see ontology.

This article clearly needs a lot of work...philosophers, please help!

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