Corporate rights to free speech?

Journal of Business Ethics 58 (1-3):261 - 269 (2005)
. 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 to civil free speech. In the absence of clearly defined legal precedent, I emphasize moral reasons for determining the appropriate limits of corporate civil free speech. Appealing to arguments typically used to justify individual rights to civil free speech, I examine the extent to which this sort of justification may or may not be legitimately extended to corporations. I conclude that corporate rights to civil free speech must be restricted because granting rights of free speech to institutions may, in practice, undermine the moral rationale and practical feasibility of guaranteeing rights of civil free speech to individuals. Furthermore, I argue that granting corporations full rights to civil free speech will undercut attempts to develop good moral character in corporate institutions by undermining the efforts of watchdog organizations.
Keywords commercial speech  corporate character  corporate rights  free speech  legal personhood
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,046
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

54 ( #82,811 of 1,934,424 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #195,835 of 1,934,424 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.