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  1. Group agency: the possibility, design, and status of corporate agents.Christian List & Philip Pettit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Philip Pettit.
    Are companies, churches, and states genuine agents? Or are they just collections of individuals that give a misleading impression of unity? This question is important, since the answer dictates how we should explain the behaviour of these entities and whether we should treat them as responsible and accountable on the model of individual agents. Group Agency offers a new approach to that question and is relevant, therefore, to a range of fields from philosophy to law, politics, and the social sciences. (...)
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  • Real rights.Carl Wellman - 1995 - New York: Oxford University Press.
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  • A history of medieval political thought, 300-1450.Joseph Canning - 1996 - New York: Routledge.
    This comprehensive and accessible volume covers four periods, each with a different focus. From 300 to 750, Canning examines Christian ideas of rulership. The often neglected centuries from 750 to 1050, the Carolingian period and its aftermath, are given special attention. From 1050 to 1290 the conflict between temporal and spiritual power comes to the fore. Finally, in the period from 1290 to 1450, Canning focuses on the confrontation of church and state ideas with political realities.
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  • Corporate Moral Agency.John R. Danley - 1999 - In Robert Frederick (ed.), A companion to business ethics. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell. pp. 243–256.
    This chapter contains sections titled: Feinberg's “methodological individualism” French and his critics Conclusion.
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  • Corporations and Non‐Agential Moral Responsibility.James Dempsey - 2013 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 30 (4):334-350.
    One of the core challenges presented by ascriptions of moral responsibility to corporations is to identify who or what is being held responsible. A significant source of controversy in attempts to answer this challenge is whether or not responsibility can fall on a ‘corporate entity’ distinct from the individuals that make it up. In this article I argue that both sides of this debate have incorrectly assumed that the possession of moral agency is a necessary condition for holding moral responsibility. (...)
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  • On the agency of certain collective entities: An argument from "normative autonomy".David Copp - 2006 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 30 (1):194–221.
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  • Moral Agency in Charities and Business Corporations: Exploring the Constraints of Law and Regulation.Eleanor Burt & Samuel Mansell - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 159 (1):59-73.
    For centuries in the UK and elsewhere, charities have been widely regarded as admirable and virtuous organisations. Business corporations, by contrast, have been characterised in the popular imagination as entities that lack a capacity for moral judgement. Drawing on the philosophical literature on the moral agency of organisations, we examine how the law shapes the ability of charities and business corporations headquartered in England to exercise moral agency. Paradoxically, we find that charities are legally constrained in exercising moral agency in (...)
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  • Of Corporations, Courts, Personhood, and Morality.Margaret M. Blair - 2015 - Business Ethics Quarterly 25 (4):415-431.
    ABSTRACT:Since the dawn of capitalism, corporations have been regarded by the law as separate legal “persons.” Corporate “personhood” has nonetheless remained controversial, and our understanding of corporate personhood often influences our thinking about the social responsibilities of corporations. This essay, written in honor of Prof. Thomas Donaldson, explores the tension in recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Delaware Chancery Court about what corporations are, whose interests they serve, and who gets to make decisions about what they do. (...)
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  • Critical Events in the Ethics of U.S. Corporation History.S. Douglas Beets - 2011 - Journal of Business Ethics 102 (2):193-219.
    The history of corporations in the United States (U.S.) is much older than the country, as it must be understood in the context of the history of peoples of Europe who eventually dominated the North American continent in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These European settlers came, in part, to achieve economic prosperity for themselves and, in many cases, for early forerunners of the modern corporation. These business organizations had predecessors in Europe millennia earlier as ancient Romans had developed a (...)
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  • For or Against Corporate Identity? Personification and the Problem of Moral Agency.Ian Ashman & Diana Winstanley - 2007 - Journal of Business Ethics 76 (1):83-95.
    This article explores the concept of corporate identity from a moral perspective. In it we argue that the reification and personification involved in attributing an identity to an organization has moral repercussions. Through a discussion of 'intentionality' we suggest that it is philosophically problematic to treat an abstraction of the corporation as possessing identity or acting as a conscious moral agent. The article moves to consider practical and ethical issues in the areas of organizational commitment, of health and safety, and (...)
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  • Past Trends and Future Directions in Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility Scholarship.Denis G. Arnold, Kenneth E. Goodpaster & Gary R. Weaver - 2015 - Business Ethics Quarterly 25 (4):v-xv.
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  • The Decomposition of the Corporate Body: What Kant Cannot Contribute to Business Ethics.Matthew C. Altman - 2007 - Journal of Business Ethics 74 (3):253-266.
    Kant is gaining popularity in business ethics because the categorical imperative rules out actions such as deceptive advertising and exploitative working conditions, both of which treat people merely as means to an end. However, those who apply Kant in this way often hold businesses themselves morally accountable, and this conception of collective responsibility contradicts the kind of moral agency that underlies Kant's ethics. A business has neither inclinations nor the capacity to reason, so it lacks the conditions necessary for constraint (...)
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  • The moral responsibility of firms.Eric W. Orts & N. Craig Smith (eds.) - 2017 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    Whether firms can be said to be moral agents and to have the capacity for moral responsibility has significant practical consequences. In most legal systems in the world, business firms are recognized as persons with the ability to own property, to maintain and defend lawsuits, and to self-organize governance structures. To recognize that these business persons can also act morally or immorally as organizations, however, would justify the imposition of other legal constraints and normative expectations on organizations. In the criminal (...)
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  • Business Ethics.Jeffrey Moriarty - 2019 - Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy.
    This is annotated bibliography of the field of business ethics. It identifies and summarizes useful journals, textbooks, anthologies, and articles.
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  • Legal Personhood: Animals, Artificial Intelligence and the Unborn.Visa A. J. Kurki & Tomasz Pietrzykowski (eds.) - 2017 - Cham: Springer.
    This edited work collates novel contributions on contemporary topics that are related to human rights. The essays address analytic-descriptive questions, such as what legal personality actually means, and normative questions, such as who or what should be recognised as a legal person. As is well-known among jurists, the law has a special conception of personhood: corporations are persons, whereas slaves have traditionally been considered property rather than persons. This odd state of affairs has not garnered the interest of legal theorists (...)
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  • Collective Agents and Communicative Theories of Punishment.Bill Wringe - 2012 - Journal of Social Philosophy 43 (4):436-456.
    This paper considers the applicability of expressive theories of punishment to the punishment of corporate entities. The author argues that although arguments which suggest that the denunciatory account is superior to a communicative account in paradigmatic cases of punishment cannot be transferred straightforwardly to cover this kind of case, there are other reasons, connected with the different attitudes we have to regret and remorse in individual and collective cases, for preferring a communicative to a denunciatory account here.
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  • Review of Carl Wellman: Real rights[REVIEW]George Rainbolt - 1996 - Ethics 107 (1):151-153.
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  • Connected Moral Agency in Organizational Ethics.George W. Watson, R. Edward Freeman & Bobby Parmar - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 81 (2):323-341.
    We review both the aspects of values-related research that complicate ideations of what we ought to do, as well as the psychological impediments to forming beliefs about the way things are. We find that more traditional moral theories are without solid empirical footing in the psychology of human values. Consequently, we revise the notion of values to align with their socially symbolic utility in self-affirmation and reformulate our understandings of moral agency to allow for the practicalities of context, circumstance, and (...)
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  • Why Corporations Are Not Morally Responsible for Anything They Do.Manuel G. Velasquez - 1983 - Business and Professional Ethics Journal 2 (3):1-18.
    Properly speaking, the corporation, considered as an entity distinct from its members, cannot be morally responsible for wrongful corporate acts. Setting aside (in this abstract) acts brought about through negligence or omissions, we may say that moral responsibility for an act attaches to that agent (or agents) in whom the act "originates" in this sense: (1) the agent formed the (mental) intention or plan to bring about that act (possibly with the help of others) and (2) the act was intentionally (...)
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  • Debunking Corporate Moral Responsibility.Manuel Velasquez - 2003 - Business Ethics Quarterly 13 (4):531-562.
    I address three topics. First, I argue that the issue of corporate moral responsibility is an important one for business ethics.Second, I examine a core argument for the claim that the corporate organization is a separate moral agent and show it is based on anunnoticed but elementary mistake deriving from the fallacy of division. Third, I examine the assumptions collectivists make about whatit means to say that organizations act and that they act intentionally and show that these assumptions are mistaken (...)
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  • Corporate Political Speech and Moral Obligation.Mary Lyn Stoll - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 132 (3):553-563.
    In the wake of Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission, more companies are spending heavily on political speech, but the moral implications of doing so are not clear. Few business ethicists have directly addressed the moral legitimacy of corporate political speech and the conditions under which it may be morally permissible. My goal here is to outline the moral hazards associated with engaging in corporate political speech. I argue that whether one takes a narrow Friedman-style shareholder primacy view of (...)
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  • Corporate Rights to Free Speech?Mary Lyn Stoll - 2005 - Journal of Business Ethics 58 (1-3):261-269.
    . Although the courts have ruled that companies are legal persons, they have not yet made clear the extent to which political free speech for corporations is limited by the strictures legitimately placed upon corporate commercial speech. I explore the question of whether or not companies can properly be said to have the right to civil free speech or whether corporate speech is always de facto commercial speech not subject to the same sorts of legal protections as is the right (...)
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  • Collective Responsibility and the State.Anna Stilz - 2011 - Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (2):190-208.
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  • A Political Account of Corporate Moral Responsibility.Jeffery Smith - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):223 - 246.
    Should we conceive of corporations as entities to which moral responsibility can be attributed? This contribution presents what we will call a political account of corporate moral responsibility. We argue that in modern, liberal democratic societies, there is an underlying political need to attribute greater levels of moral responsibility to corporations. Corporate moral responsibility is essential to the maintenance of social coordination that both advances social welfare and protects citizens' moral entitlements. This political account posits a special capacity of self-governance (...)
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  • Business Ethics After Citizens United: A Contractualist Analysis.David Silver - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 127 (2):385-397.
    In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission , the US Supreme Court sharply curtailed the ability of the state to limit political speech by for-profit corporations. This new legal situation elevates the question of corporate political involvement: in what manner and to what extent is it ethical for for-profit corporations to participate in the political process in a liberal democratic society? Using Scanlon’s version of contractualism, I argue for a number of substantive and procedural constraints on the political activities of (...)
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  • The collectivist approach to collective moral responsibility.Seumas Miller & Pekka Makela - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (5):634-651.
    In this article we critique the collectivist approach to collective moral responsibility. According to philosophers of a collectivist persuasion, a central notion of collective moral responsibility is moral responsibility assigned to a collective as a single entity. In our critique, we proceed by way of discussing the accounts and arguments of three prominent representatives of the collectivist approach with respect to collective responsibility: Margaret Gilbert, Russell Hardin, and Philip Pettit. Our aims are mainly critical; however, this should not be taken (...)
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  • Denying Corporate Rights and Punishing Corporate Wrongs.Amy J. Sepinwall - 2015 - Business Ethics Quarterly 25 (4):517-534.
    Scholars addressing the moral status of corporations are motivated by a pair of conflicting anxieties: If corporations are not moral agents, we will be unable to blame them for their wrongs. But if corporations are moral agents, we will have to recognize corporate moral rights, and the legal rights that flow therefrom. In early and under-appreciated work, Tom Donaldson sought to allay both concerns at once: Corporations, he argued, are not moral persons, and so are not eligible for many of (...)
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  • How Autonomy Alone Debunks Corporate Moral Agency.David Rönnegard - 2013 - Business and Professional Ethics Journal 32 (1-2):77-107.
    It is uncontroversial that corporations are legal agents that may be attributed with legal responsibilities. However, can corporations also be moral agents that are the proper subjects of moral responsibility attributions? The concept of corporate moral agency entails that corporations can be the proper bearers of moral responsibilities in a manner that is distinct from their human members. The paper acknowledges the important work done by Velasquez in debunking the purported intention and action abilities for corporate moral agency, but suggests (...)
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  • Group Rights and Group Agency.Adina Preda - 2012 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (2):229-254.
    On some theories of rights, such as the Choice theory, only agents can have moral rights. The realm of right-holders thus excludes several potential candidates, among which are young children, mentally incapacitated persons, and groups since these are thought to lack the required degree of agency. This paper argues that groups can be right-holders. The argument comes in three steps: first, it is argued that full-blown or autonomous agency is not required for the possession of Choice theory rights, second, that (...)
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  • Corporate Moral Personhood and Three Conceptions of the Corporation.Michael J. Phillips - 1992 - Business Ethics Quarterly 2 (4):435-459.
    Despite some exceptions, the business ethics literature on the moral responsibility of corporations does not emphasize a subject critical to that inquiry: the general nature of corporations. This article attempts to lessen the imbalance by describing three conceptions of the corporation that have been prominent in twentieth century legal theorizing, and by sketching their implications for the moral responsibility of corporations. These three conceptions, at least two of which have counterparts in the philosophical and organizational theory literature, are the concession, (...)
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  • The central distinction in the theory of corporate moral personhood.Raymond S. Pfeiffer - 1990 - Journal of Business Ethics 9 (6):473-480.
    Peter French has argued that conglomerate collectivities such as business corporations are moral persons and that aggregate collectivities such as lynch mobs are not. Two arguments are advanced to show that French's claim is flawed. First, the distinction between aggregates and conglomerates is, at best, a distinction of degree, not kind. Moreover, some aggregates show evidence of moral personhood. Second, French's criterion for distinguishing aggregates and conglomerates is based on inadequate grounds. Application of the criterion to specific cases requires an (...)
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  • Responsibility incorporated.Philip Pettit - 2007 - Ethics 117 (2):171-201.
    The Herald of Free Enterprise, a ferry operating in the English Channel, sank on March 6, 1987, drowning nearly two hundred people. The official inquiry found that the company running the ferry was extremely sloppy, with poor routines of checking and management. “From top to bottom the body corporate was infected with the disease of sloppiness.”1 But the courts did not penalize anyone in what might seem to be an appropriate measure, failing to identify individuals in the company or on (...)
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  • Sharing the costs of political injustices.Avia Pasternak - 2011 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 10 (2):188-210.
    It is commonly thought that when democratic states act wrongly, they should bear the costs of the harm they cause. However, since states are collective agents, their financial burdens pass on to their individual citizens. This fact raises important questions about the proper distribution of the state’s collective responsibility for its unjust policies. This article identifies two opposing models for sharing this collective responsibility in democracies: first, in proportion to citizens’ personal association with the unjust policy; second, by giving each (...)
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  • Rethinking the Ethics of Corporate Political Activities in a Post-Citizens United Era: Political Equality, Corporate Citizenship, and Market Failures.Pierre-Yves Néron - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 136 (4):715-728.
    The aim of this paper is to provide some insights for a normative theory of corporate political activities. Such a theory aims to provide theoretical tools to investigate the legitimacy of corporate political involvement and allows us to determine which political activities and relations with government regulators are appropriate or inappropriate, permissible or impermissible, obligatory or forbidden for corporations. After having explored what I call the “normative presumption of legitimacy” of CPAs, this paper identifies three different plausible strategies to criticize (...)
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  • Corporate moral agency: Review and implications. [REVIEW]Geoff Moore - 1999 - Journal of Business Ethics 21 (4):329 - 343.
    The debate concerning corporate moral agency is normally conducted through philosophical arguments in articles which argue from only one point of view. This paper summarises both the arguments for and against corporate moral agency and concludes from this that the arguments in favour have more weight. The paper also addresses the way in which the law in the U.K. and the U.S.A. currently views this issue and shows how it is supportive of the concept of corporate moral agency. The paper (...)
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  • Corporate responsibility and corporate personhood.Rita C. Manning - 1984 - Journal of Business Ethics 3 (1):77 - 84.
    In this paper, I consider the claim that a corporation cannot be held to be morally responsible unless it is a person. First, I argue that this claim is ambigious. Person flags three different but related notions: metaphysical person, moral agent, moral person. I argue that, though one can make the claim that corporates are metaphysical persons, this claim is only marginally relevant to the question of corporate moral responsibility. The central question which must be answered in discussions of corporate (...)
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  • Real Rights.Anthony Simon Laden - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (4):591.
    The book’s argument divides into three parts. In the first, Wellman sets out an account of legal rights, and then uses it to work out an account of nonlegal institutional rights and noninstitutional moral rights. The second focuses on the question of whether various alleged right-holders are possible right-holders. The third then turns to conflicts of both rights and duties, and argues, on the basis of the conclusions of the first two parts, that although some conflicts between rights are real, (...)
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  • The Missing Dynamic: Corporations, Individuals and Contracts.Arun A. Iyer - 2006 - Journal of Business Ethics 67 (4):393-406.
    There are two opposing views on the nature of corporations in contemporary debates on corporate social responsibility. Opponents of corporate personhood hold that a corporation is nothing but a group of individuals coming together to achieve certain goals. On the other hand, the advocates of corporate personhood believe that corporations are persons in their own right existing over and above the individuals who comprise them. They talk of corporate decision-making structures that help translate individual decisions and actions into corporate decisions (...)
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  • “If You Tickle Us….”: How Corporations Can Be Moral Agents Without Being Persons.Kendy M. Hess - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (3):319-335.
    I aim to disentangle two very important debates: one about whether corporations can be moral agents (and thus have moral obligations), one about whether corporations are persons (and thus entitled to certain rights and protections). Critics often conflate these two debates, arguing that moral agency entails personhood and then treating that entailment as a kind of reductio for claims of corporate moral agency. My primary purpose is to rebut the claim of entailment, demonstrating that even the highly sophisticated moral agency (...)
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  • Group responsibility for ethnic conflict.Virginia Held - 2002 - The Journal of Ethics 6 (2):157-178.
    When a group of persons such as a nation orcorporation has a relatively clear structureand set of decision procedures, it is capableof acting and should, it can well be argued, beconsidered morally as well as legallyresponsible. This is not because it is afull-fledged moral person, but becauseassigning responsibility is a human practice,and we have good moral reasons to adopt thepractice of considering such groupsresponsible. From such judgments, however,little follows about the responsibility ofindividual members of such groups; much moreneeds to be (...)
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  • Focusing on Ethics and Broadening our Intellectual Base.Michelle Greenwood & R. Edward Freeman - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 140 (1):1-3.
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  • Collective Wrongdoing.Margaret Gilbert - 2002 - Social Theory and Practice 28 (1):167-187.
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  • Norman E. Bowie, Business Ethics, A Kantian Perspective. [REVIEW]Clare M. Pennino - 2004 - Journal of Business Ethics 50 (4):415-415.
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  • Moral responsibility in collective contexts.Tracy Isaacs - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Intentional collective action -- Collective moral responsibility -- Collective guilt -- Individual responsibility for (and in) collective wrongs -- Collective obligation, individual obligation, and individual moral responsibility -- Individual moral responsibility in wrongful social practice.
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  • Business Ethics: A Kantian Perspective.Norman E. Bowie - 1982 - New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell.
    This book provides essential reading for anyone with an academic or professional interest in business ethics today.
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  • Corporate Moral Agency.John R. Danley - 1980 - Bowling Green Studies in Applied Philosophy 2:140-149.
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  • Business Ethics.Jeffrey Moriarty - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This article provides an overview of the field of business ethics.
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  • Legal Personhood and the Firm: Avoiding Anthropomorphism and Equivocation.David Gindis - 2016 - Journal of Institutional Economics 12 (3):499-513..
    From the legal point of view, "person" is not co-extensive with "human being." Nor is it synonymous with "rational being" or "responsible subject." Much of the confusion surrounding the issue of the firm’s legal personality is due to the tendency to address the matter with only these, all too often conflated, definitions of personhood in mind. On the contrary, when the term "person" is defined in line with its original meaning as "mask" worn in the legal drama, it is easy (...)
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  • Pluralism and the Personality of the State.David Runciman - 1998
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  • Corporate Social Responsibility and the Supposed Moral Agency of Corporations.Matthew Lampert - 2016 - Ephemera 16 (1):79-105.
    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been traditionally framed within business ethics as a discourse attempting to identify certain moral responsibilities of corporations (as well as get these corporations to fulfill their responsibilities). This theory has often been normatively grounded in the idea that a corporation is (or ought to be treated as) a moral agent. I argue that it is a mistake to think of (or treat) corporations as moral agents, and that CSR’s impotency is a direct result of this (...)
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