Confident Pluralism in Corporate Legal Theory
8 Pages Posted: 3 May 2017
Date Written: 2017
Lyman Johnson has been a prime mover in bringing pluralism to corporate legal theory. Perhaps more than any other scholar, Johnson has brought Isaiah Berlin’s bracingly skeptical mindset to corporate law, pushing back against the monolithic embrace of shareholder wealth maximization, pointing out its harmfulness and its lack of legal mandate. Just as important as the content of his scholarship is the method by which he has advocated for his ideas. He has pushed academic, policymaking, and practitioner conversations about corporate purpose forward in productive ways without alienating those who disagree with him or drawing lines that make future collaborative efforts more treacherous. This paper was presented as part of a symposium convened by Washington & Lee School of Law as a tribute to the scholarship of Lyman Johnson and David Millon.
Keywords: Lyman Johnson, corporate law, corporate legal theory, corporate pluralism, corporations and social responsibility
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