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The Metaphysics of Corporate Agency

By Thomas Smith

Abstract

In Chapter 1, I defend “the first thesis”, which is that expressions of the form ‘_decided to ’, ‘_wished to ’, ‘_intended to ’ and ‘_believed that p’ may be used to truly say something about something that the expression ‘the East India Company’ may be used to pick out. \ud \ud In Chapter 2, I defend “the second thesis”, which is stronger than the first thesis, and which is that an individual i that is picked out by a standard use of the expression ‘the East India Company’ is such that expressions of the form ‘_decided to ’, ‘_wished to ’, ‘_intended to ’ and ‘_believed that p’ may be used to truly say something about i.\ud \ud In Chapter 3, I defend “the third thesis”, which is stronger than the second thesis, and which is that an individual i that is picked out by a standard use of the expression ‘the East India Company’ is such that expressions of the form ‘_decided to ’, ‘_wished to ’, ‘_intended to ’ and ‘_believed that p’ may be used in the senses in which they may be used to truly say something about a human person to truly say something about i. \ud \ud In Chapter 4, I try to assuage perplexity as to how it is possible that the third thesis is true, by telling a likely story as to how a situation in which no decision, wish, intention or belief is made or had by anything that is not a human person might evolve into one in which the East India Company makes decisions, and has wishes, intentions and beliefs (in the senses in which a human person may make and have such things). \ud \ud In a postscript, I sketch an explanation of why we are justified in thinking that the Company had a diminished range of mental capacities.Philosophy of Min

Topics: PHI
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:sas-space.sas.ac.uk:804
Provided by: SAS-SPACE
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