Against Corporate Responsibility

Journal of Social Philosophy 55 (1):44–61 (2024)
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Can a group be morally responsible instead of, or in addition to, its members? An influential defense of corporate responsibility is based on results in social choice theory suggesting that a group can form and act on attitudes held by few, or even none, of its members. The members therefore cannot be (fully) responsible for the group’s behavior; the group itself, as a corporate agent, must be responsible. In this paper, I reject this view of corporate responsibility by showing how it pays insufficient attention to individual agency. By accounting for group members’ strategic behavior, we shall see how they control collective attitude formation and are therefore responsible for their group’s behavior.

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Lars Moen
University of Vienna

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Group agency: the possibility, design, and status of corporate agents.Christian List & Philip Pettit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Philip Pettit.
An Epistemic Theory of Democracy.Robert E. Goodin & Kai Spiekermann - 2018 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. Edited by Kai Spiekermann.

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