Essay on Deontology

1512 Words Jun 15th, 2014 7 Pages

— Claudio Toro 2010/11/19 20:16

We all talk about what is right or wrong. Some think about why is it that way, or how it should be instead. Following said train of thought, philosophers from different eras have come up with different theories and genealogies. From these ideas emerge ideologies like utilitarianism, the Aristotelian virtue ethics, and deontology. This essay will try to give a short introduction to the latter one, explaining its basis and its most famous proponents.

The cornerstone of deontology (from the Greek “deon” , which means duty or obligation) is that deciding upon what is right or not for any situation should be based on a preconceived set of rules and our duty to follow them, disregarding any
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Because rulings and standards cannot be applied to any moral context, act deontologists can also be called “intuitionists”2). More specifically, calling the theory intuitionist means that each decision is based on a “gut feeling” of sorts (notice that consequences do not have a role in these intuitions).

Criticisms to Act Deontology
Some problems with this deontological subdivision include that it does not provide any balancing measurement. In other words: it does not provide any guidelines for discerning if one individual’s idea of what is right is better than any others. Furthermore, some individuals might tend to act in socially unacceptable ways just because they had a feeling that they were doing the right thing. Also, if we were to adapt to an act-deontological system, our actions as a society could be reinforced by each other’s hunches, but they could still be rationally unacceptable.

Rule Deontology

On the other side of the coin we find rule deontology, whose proponents theorize that there are, in fact, definite rules by which we should subscribe in order to be good and to act well. Any rule, of course, would be independent of any consideration for the consequences of our actions. This type of deontology is probably the most well-known, and the only ground in which we find discrepancies among its subscribers is on how we generate these axiomatic rules. The determination of what principles should be counted as invariable rules in

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