Share this entry

Share this page

deontology

Syllabification: de·on·tol·o·gy
Pronunciation: /ˌdēänˈtäləjē
 
/

Definition of deontology in English:

noun

Philosophy
The study of the nature of duty and obligation.
Example sentences
  • While both deontologists and rule - utilitarians are rule-followers, deontology explicitly stresses duty and intention rather than outcome, whereas the ultimate focus of rule-utilitarianism is on consequences.
  • Another problem for virtue ethics, which is shared by both utilitarianism and deontology, is ‘the justification problem.’
  • There are two main categories of deontological theories in the literature: rule deontology and act deontology.

Origin

early 19th century: from Greek deont- 'being necessary' (from dei 'it is necessary') + -logy.

Derivatives

deontological

1
Pronunciation: /dēˌäntˈäjikəl/
adjective
Example sentences
  • Classic utilitarianism is consequentialist as opposed to deontological because of what it denies.
  • This distinction mirrors a major fault line in ethics between what are known as consequentialist and deontological theories.
  • As with many hybrid views, the deontological and consequentialist components tend to pull apart, with each threatening to subordinate the other.

deontologist

2
noun
Example sentences
  • So, for example, a deontologist such as Immanuel Kant might say that lying is always morally wrong, even when it results in a greater good.
  • Many of the leading approaches are commonly grouped into competing camps of deontologists and Kantians on the one hand and consequentialists or utilitarians on the other.
  • When asked to justify an alleged moral rule, duty or its corresponding right, deontologists may appeal to the intrinsic value of those beings to whom it applies.

Definition of deontology in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtərpsikəˈrēən
adjective
of or relating to dancing