2010 Abstracts Stage 2

From Viral Advertising to Corporate Personhood: Does the Corporation Walk Among Us?

Kevin Ryan, 2010, Stage 2

The object upon which my project will be based is the corporation.

The context in which I will explore the corporation is viewing corporations with the framing of an individual.

Although corporations are what the name implies, a group of individuals working together towards the production of profit; corporations share many attributes that an individual holds, including corporations being seen as ‘legal persons’ in legislation.

Therefore, to what extent is an individual human and a corporation the same as one another or different?

To explore this idea, I will use topics such as;
• Aristotelian virtue ethics – can corporations have traits and characteristics which deem them to be virtuous?
• Hegelian social ethics – how can corporations function ethically within a social whole and guarantee ‘recognition’ to stakeholders and employees?
• Social contact theories – taking Hobbesian social contact theory and applying it to the corporation
• Prevailing thoughts in the newly developing field of business ethics

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