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Market-based Institutions: Joint Moral Rights and Collective Goods

SPS Seminar / Frontiers
19 September 2023, h. 11.00-13.00 
SPS Seminar room
(Passione side -2nd floor, room 215)
Department of Social and Political Sciences
Via Conservatorio, 7 - Milan

Speaker: Seumas Miller (Charles Sturt University)

Discussant: Francesco Guala (University of Milan)
Chair: Nicola Riva (University of Milan) 

Normative theories of market-based institutions, such as corporations, are often ultimately couched in terms of the  pursuit of individual self interest leading to collective benefits e.g., via an invisible hand mechanism or some wide array of co-called stakeholders. Here the ‘individuals’ in question are individual human persons but also individual organisations, e.g. a single corporation. Moreover, these theories often implicitly assume that the primary benefit in question, at least the ones intentionally aimed at, are financial i.e. salaries, wages, dividends. In this article I argue for a normative conception of market-based institutions primarily in terms of jointly produced collective goods to which contributors have joint rights. The account is a species of relational individualism; moral properties do not attach to collective entities per se. Moreover, the collective goods in question exist at the level of industries rather than single organisations (or other single market actors competing in the market in question).


28 July 2023
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