ambulance arial,sans-serif;”>A Princeton University professor will discuss the rights and responsibilities of corporate bodies at two free lectures at California Lutheran University on Feb. 16.
Philip Pettit, the L. S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton and Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the Australian National University, Canberra, will explore “Corporate Realities and Democratic Ideals” during the annual Harold Stoner Clark Lectures in Samuelson Chapel. He will present “Holding Corporate Bodies Responsible” at 11:10 a.m. and “Granting Corporate Bodies Rights” at 4 p.m.
Corporate bodies such as businesses, religious organizations and colleges exercise a great deal of power in our lives. For good or ill, they shape our social relationships and have a significant impact on our democratic processes. Speaking in an election year, the political philosopher will examine what standards we should hold them to, what responsibilities and duties we may legitimately impose on them, and what rights and freedoms they may claim for themselves. He argues that corporate bodies should be held responsible for what they do and that their rights are secondary to the concerns and interests of individual citizens.
“In the United States today, the power of corporations, the power of the wealthy, is undermining what I think of as democracy,” Pettit told Prospect magazine in 2014.
He has written many books including “Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government,” “Just Freedom: A Moral Compass for a Complex World” and “The Robust Demands of the Good: Ethics with Attachment, Virtue and Respect.” He has co-written several books including “The Economy of Esteem” and “Group Agency: The Possibility, Design and Status of Corporate Agents.”
Pettit is a fellow of the Australian academies of Humanities and Social Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the British and Royal Irish academies. Pettit gave the Tanner Lectures in Berkeley in 2015 and will give the John Locke Lectures in Philosophy at Oxford in 2019. Born in Ireland, he became a naturalized Australian citizen in 1988 and has been a permanent U.S. resident since 2005.
The late Harold Stoner Clark endowed the free lecture series that started in 1985, requesting that presentations address his dual interests of science and philosophy. Cal Lutheran’s Department of Philosophy sponsors the talks.
The chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane in Thousand Oaks. For more information, contact Nathan Tierney at 805-493-3232 or [email protected].