Corporate Identity and Group Dignity


Every time a decision needs to be made about corporate rights, the theoretical difficulties of corporate identity and personhood have to be overcome. In this article, I analyze these problems from the perspectives of moral philosophy and law, examining how the theories of the former inform and influence legal discourse and practices (including the recent cases of Citizens United and Hobby Lobby); my main point there is that the philosophical and legal understandings of personhood are analytically distinct and should not be confused. Based on my findings, I focus upon one particular teaching about corporate identity—the real entity theory—and expand it to develop the conception of corporate dignity, which is a useful analytical tool explaining the jurisprudential puzzles of group (corporate) rights.


Corporate rights, Real entity theory, Group identity, Personhood, Moral philosophy, Citizens United v. FEC 558 U.S. 310 (2010), Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014)



Konstantin Tretyakov (Harvard Law School)



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