The Curious Case of Ronald McDonald’s Claim to Rights: An Ontological Account of Differences in Group and Individual Person Rights: Winner of the 2016 Essay Competition of the International Social Ontology Society

Journal of Social Ontology 4 (1):1-28 (2018)
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Performative accounts of personhood argue that group agents are persons, fit to be held responsible within the social sphere. Nonetheless, these accounts want to retain a moral distinction between group and individual persons. That: Group-persons can be responsible for their actions qua persons, but that group-persons might nonetheless not have rights equivalent to those of human persons. I present an argument which makes sense of this disanalogy, without recourse to normative claims or additional ontological commitments. I instead ground rights in the different relations in which performative persons stand in relation to one another.

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Leonie Smith
University of Manchester


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