Corporate Insecthood

Whether the corporation should be considered a person is a matter of heated debate in legal and philosophical circles. In this talk, I examine whether, and in what ways, ordinary citizens might also conceptualize the corporation as a person. I present evidence that corporations are anthropomorphized, but only to a certain degree. Furthermore, corporations differ in the extent to which people are willing to grant them personhood, a pattern which is predicted by how ethical the corporation is. Finally, I show that corporate anthropomorphization has important downstream consequences in some domains (e.g. support for corporate civil rights) but bears little to no relation in others (e.g. belief in corporate moral responsibility).