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Aristotle and the Corporation

  • Alejo José G. SisonEmail author

Abstract

Despite the fact that, for historical reasons, Aristotle could not have known about the modern corporation, there is sufficient basis in his Politics to afford us a glimpse of his probable thoughts regarding its nature, place, and function in society with regard to human flourishing (eudaimonia). Corporations are, on the one hand, artificial and imperfect societies. On the other hand, they are intermediate bodies between the family and the state dedicated to the pursuit of economic ends, that is, the large-scale production of goods and services. A central concept in Aristotelian politics is that of citizenship. We explore two ways in which this can be applied to the corporation: (1) by viewing the corporation itself as a citizen of the polity and (2) by conceiving the different stakeholder groups as citizens of what one might call the corporate polity. These are analyzed in relation to currently dominant understandings of citizenship, both liberal-minimalist and civic republican-communitarian.

Keywords

Aristotle Virtue Corporation Theory of the firm Human flourishing Citizenship Corporate social responsibility Stakeholders Corporate governance 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of NavarrePamplonaSpain

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