Corporate Moral Agency at the Convenience of Ethics and Law

28 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2019

See all articles by Matthew Caulfield

Matthew Caulfield

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

William S. Laufer

University of Pennsylvania - Legal Studies Department

Date Written: July 14, 2019

Abstract

The construct of corporate moral agency in both ethics and law is far too often regarded as little more than a means to an end, reduced to subtle semantics, attenuated fictions, and poor analogies. Much scholarship on corporate moral agency is used instrumentally to reach certain ideological ends in business ethics. In this article, we also bemoan the criminal law’s perennial search over personhood and agency — a search that takes a host of theoretical casualties and, ultimately, a reluctance to employ formal social controls in response to serious corporate wrongdoing. Jurists, legal theorists, business ethicists, and philosophers are all too eager to avoid any serious engagement with question of CMA.

Keywords: corporate moral agency, business ethics, corporate criminal law

Suggested Citation

Caulfield, Matthew and Laufer, William S., Corporate Moral Agency at the Convenience of Ethics and Law (July 14, 2019). Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3419606

Matthew Caulfield (Contact Author)

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

William S. Laufer

University of Pennsylvania - Legal Studies Department ( email )

3730 Walnut Street
Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States
(215) 898-7693 (Phone)
(215) 573-2006 (Fax)

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