Do corporations have moral rights?

Journal of Business Ethics 4 (4):277 - 281 (1985)
My aim in this paper is to explore the notion that corporations have moral rights within the context of a constitutive rules model of corporate moral agency. The first part of the paper will briefly introduce the notion of moral rights, identifying the distinctive feature of moral rights, as contrasted with other moral categories, in Vlastos' terms of overridingness. The second part will briefly summarize the constitutive rules approach to the moral agency of corporations (à la French, Smith, Ozar) and pose the question of the paper. The third part will argue that, since the moral agency of corporations is dependent on the choices of those whose acceptence of the relevant rules constitutes the corporation as a moral agent, the rights of corporations are conventional; that is, they exist because they are so created. Thus, as a first answer, corporations do not have moral rights.But this raises a further question which we must explore. Once a corporation has been constituted, by the acceptance of the relevant rules by the relevant persons, does the corporation then have rights which endure? Can those who have constituted a corporation with certain rights morally change or cancel those rights in medias res without doing some sort of moral violence to the corporation? Do corporations at least have a moral right to persist in the conventional rights with which they were constituted?
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00381769
 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: 24,392
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Quentin Gee (2016). Corporations, Rights, and Lobbying. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2):397-408.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

61 ( #79,977 of 1,924,703 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #211,819 of 1,924,703 )

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.