David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 9 (6):473-480 (1990)
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 additional judgment of a pragmatic nature which undermines any attempt to demonstrate French's thesis that actual conglomerates are moral persons and aggregates are not. Thus, French's theory is seriously lacking both empirical basis and empirical relevance.
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References found in this work BETA
Peter A. French (1987). Collective and Corporate Responsibility. Philosophical Review 96 (1):117-119.
Peter A. French (1979). The Corporation as a Moral Person. American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (3):207 - 215.
Manuel G. Velasquez (1983). Why Corporations Are Not Morally Responsible for Anything They Do. Business and Professional Ethics Journal 2 (3):1-18.
Jere Surber (1983). Individual and Corporate Responsibility. Business and Professional Ethics Journal 2 (4):67-88.
Citations of this work BETA
Patrick Maclagan & Tim Campbell (2011). Focusing on Individuals' Ethical Judgement in Corporate Social Responsibility Curricula. Business Ethics 20 (4):392-404.
S. Douglas Beets (2011). Critical Events in the Ethics of U.S. Corporation History. Journal of Business Ethics 102 (2):193-219.
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