David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
A limited-liability corporation is an artificial (“legal”) person whose liability is limited to the assets “owned” by the corporation. This means that the real or natural persons (if there are any) who own the corporation are not liable for the consequences of corporate actions or events originating within the property “owned” by the corporation. Thus, while the limited-liability corporation itself is fully liable (i.e., to the full extent of its assets) for such actions and occurrences, its human owners (if there are any) are not liable at all. Admittedly, they run a risk of losing all that they have invested in the corporation, but nothing more. This risk may be called an economic liability but it is not a liability in the relevant juridical sense: debtors cannot turn to the owners of the corporation to ask or compel them to pay its debts—it does not matter whether these debts are consequences of the corporation’s contractual obligations (wages, rents, purchases, loans, etc.) or consequences of harmful actions or events (explosions, flooding, contaminations, etc.) caused by the corporation or its property to third parties. Thus, we have the problem of the standing of the limited-liability corporation in view of the principles of Austro-libertarianism: the limited-liability corporation is a fully liable artificial person that shields any natural persons who are its owners from any liability. This is a problem because we cannot have it both ways. Either the limited-liability corporation is an autonomous (“self-owning”) person in its own right and then no objection can be made to it, as, despite its name, it is fully liable; or it is something owned by natural persons and then these owners must, like all other owners, be held fully liable for what they do (or command or permit others to do) with their property as well as for the consequences of events that originate within their property. Now, from an Austro-libertarian point of view—which, as I understand it, is committed to a realist philosophy and therefore akin to a natural law position1—it does not make sense to say that an artificial person can be an autonomous person in its own right..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Ian Maitland (2001). Distributive Justice in Firms. Business Ethics Quarterly 11 (1):129-143.
Steffen Wettig & Eberhard Zehender (2004). A Legal Analysis of Human and Electronic Agents. Artificial Intelligence and Law 12 (1-2):111-135.
Christopher J. Cowton (2011). Putting Creditors in Their Rightful Place: Corporate Governance and Business Ethics in the Light of Limited Liability. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 102 (S1):21-32.
Ian Maitland (1994). The Morality of the Corporation. Business Ethics Quarterly 4 (4):445-458.
Jeff McMahan (2005). The Basis of Moral Liability to Defensive Killing. Philosophical Issues 15 (1):386–405.
Richard J. Klonoski (1986). The Moral Responsibilities of Stockholders. Journal of Business Ethics 5 (5):385 - 390.
D. R. Cooley (2003). Strict Joint and Several Liability and Justice. Journal of Business Ethics 47 (3):199 - 208.
Larry May (1986). Corporate Property Rights. Journal of Business Ethics 5 (3):225 - 232.
Gordon G. Sollars (2001). An Appraisal of Shareholder Proportional Liability. Journal of Business Ethics 32 (4):329 - 345.
Added to index2009-02-15
Total downloads13 ( #189,928 of 1,725,631 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #211,030 of 1,725,631 )
How can I increase my downloads?