Erkenntnis 79 (S9):1565-1585 (2014)

Authors
Frank Hindriks
University of Groningen
Abstract
Corporate responsibility requires a conception of collective agency on which collective agents are able to form moral judgments and act on them. In spite of claims to the contrary, existing accounts of collective agency fall short of this kind of corporate autonomy, as they fail to explain how collective agents might be responsive to moral reasons. I discuss how a recently proposed conception of shared valuing can be used for developing a solution to this problem. Although the resulting conception of corporate autonomy is useful for making sense of corporate responsibility, it also gives rise to what I call ‘the Corporate Autonomy Problem’. Autonomous collective agents are in principle entitled to the same rights as autonomous individual agents. However, at least some individual rights, such as the right to vote, the right to life, and the right not to be enslaved cannot plausibly be attributed to collective agents. This intuition is supported by normative individualism, the position according to which corporate agents are not entitled to non-derivative rights at all. I argue that without a proper solution to this problem—I sketch the available options—saving corporate responsibility requires giving up on normative individualism
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-014-9629-6
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.

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Citations of this work BETA

Does the Machine Need a Ghost? Corporate Agents as Nonconscious Kantian Moral Agents.Kendy M. Hess - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (1):67-86.
The Moral Agency of Group Agents.Christopher Thompson - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (3):517-538.
Corporate Agency and Possible Futures.Tim Mulgan - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):901-916.

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