Knowledge@Wharton: We’re speaking today with Eric Orts, a professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton, about his new book, Business Persons, a Legal Theory of the Firm. Thanks for joining us today, Eric.
Eric W. Orts: You’re welcome. I’m happy to be here.
Knowledge@Wharton: The book covers a lot of ground. But let’s focus on a couple of specific ideas that were very interesting. One has to do with … the Citizens United Supreme Court case, which gave corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts on political groups, campaigns and candidates. So, based on Citizens United, corporations are people too, right? Or are they?
Orts: Well, that’s one of the main questions that I try to answer in the book or at least elucidate. The title of the book includes the phrase “business persons.” What I mainly argue … is that corporations are persons, but that doesn’t mean that they are people. Therefore, as the majority of the Supreme Court said, they have all of the rights, apparently, that people do...