David Millon

Washington and Lee University

Frontiers of Legal Thought : Theories of the Corporation

15/01/2020

The author's goal in this Essay is to consider how theories of the corporation have developed and changed over the last hundred and fifty years. Based on this survey, the author offer some observations about the role of such theories in discourse about corporate law and corporate activity.

I. INTRODUCTION

While apparently metaphysical questions about "the nature of the corporation" might strike one as vaguely continental and surely alien to our hard-headed, pragmatic legal culture, theorizing about "what corporations are" has in fact occupied a great deal of home-grown mental energy and has played an important role in arguments about concrete questions of corporate law. My goal in this Essay is to consider how theories of the corporation have developed and changed over the last hundred and fifty years. Based on this survey, I offer some observations about the role of such theories in discourse about corporate law and corporate activity.

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