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Fiduciary Loyalty as Kantian Virtue

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophical Foundations of Fiduciary Law
EditorsAndrew Gold, Paul Miller
PublisherOxford Univeristy Press
ISBN (Print)9780198701729
Publication statusPublished - 2014

King's Authors


The term ‘loyalty’, as it is used in the context of fiduciary duties, has two senses: one, thin ‘juridical’ sense, in which ‘loyalty’ stands for the requirement that fiduciaries act only in the best interests of their principals. The other, thick ‘virtue’ sense of loyalty implies a specific emotional and intellectual orientation towards one’s principals. It is an attitude towards another person in which selfless action comes easily, and exploitation of weakness is unthinkable. By invoking this rich concept of loyalty the courts of equity advise fiduciaries that the serious commitment they took upon themselves calls for the adoption of an unusual disposition. The second part of the chapter shows how the recommendation to adopt a stance of fully-fledged loyalty can, in spite of its appeal to emotions, be incorporated into a Kantian analysis of fiduciary duties.

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