Deontological Ethics In Miller's An Enemy Of The People

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People make decisions constantly, and these decisions range from choosing what to have for dinner to deciding what house you are going to choose to purchase as your first home. Making any of these decisions is difficult, and many do not take into consideration what thought processes the brain goes through in order to end up with a choice. One theory that explains how people make these decisions is called deontological ethics. There are multiple versions of this theory, but ultimately the definition is best explained by Alexander and Moore’s explanation: “deontology falls within the domain of moral theories that guide and assess our choices of what we ought to do, in contrast to virtue theories that—fundamentally, at least—guide and assess what …show more content…
The reason for this being the main negative side of deontological ethics, that the duties people hold dear are not the same for everyone, and these duties can conflict with each other. Sometimes, even the multiple roles a person has can conflict with each other. A character who exemplifies this is the character Morten Kiil in Miller’s edition of An Enemy of the People. In the final act he finally shows his true colors, and the following line of dialogue reveals a conflict between two duties he feels he must fulfil: “There’ll be a little something for Catherine, but not much. I want my good name. It’s exceedingly important to me.” (115) Before this line was said it was revealed that Kiil used his daughters inheritance money to purchase stocks that would make his son-in-law have no other choice but to retract his statements about the state of the town’s springs, and by retracting these statements it would save the good name of Kiil’s family business. The role of being a father and leaving something for his daughter clashed with the duty to keep up his family’s good name, and although what he did was not necessarily right, he ended up abiding by the duties of one role over another, as many people in reality end up

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