How Should We Interpret Institutional Duty-Claims?
Lammer-Heindel, C. S. (2013). How Should We Interpret Institutional Duty-Claims? EJBO - Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies, 18 (1), 27-34. Retrieved from http://ejbo.jyu.fi/pdf/ejbo_vol18_no1.pdf
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It is rather natural to suppose that what we mean when we say that an institutional organization has a moral duty is parallel to whatever it is that we mean when we say that an individual has a duty. I challenge this interpretation on the grounds that it assumes that institutional organizations possess those characteristics or abilities requisite for moral agency—an assumption which I argue is highly suspicious. Against such an interpretation, I argue that we have very good reasons to suppose that the term ‘has a duty’ is used equivocally across individual and institutional contexts. In other words, the meaning of an institutional duty-claim is quite different than that of an individual duty-claim, so much so that we ought to recognize that institutional duty-claims are not really duty-claims at all.
PublisherBusiness and Organization Ethics Network (BON)