• July 15th, 2012
  • Posted by athanne

Deontological Theories and Ethics

Deontology in Deontological Theories and Ethics is an ethics of duty. Deontology in Deontological Theories and Ethics is word that comes from two Greek words; ‘deos’ meaning duty and ‘logos’ meaning theory/discourse/science. This theory was invented by Immanuel Kant (Konisburg, Pracia, 1724). Immanuel Kant argues that the morality of an act depends on the act itself because it is an obligation which is intrinsic.

His main aim in Deontological Theories and Ethics was to seek the fundamental principles of ethics. He rejects utilitarianism. According to him, the rightness or wrongness of an action in Deontological Theories and Ethics should be judged on whether or not it conforms to a certain duty.

In utilitarianism, the principle is hypothetical i.e. it is conditional (it takes the form ‘if ‘p’ then ‘q’), but Kant’s duty ethics in Deontological Theories and Ethics are categorical i.e. universal/absolute – principles that apply to humanity as a whole. Categorical in Deontological Theories and Ethics define the principle as a dictate of nature; based on intrinsic principles.

Goodwill is absolute. Goodwill in Deontological Theories and Ethics is the only will that defines itself. It is the only good without conditions/qualifications. Kant says that duty to itself is important; brings about happiness. The problem is that it denies duty to others. So, according to him, that which determines the morality of an action in Deontological Theories and Ethics is the intention of the action.

An act done from duty ion Deontological Theories and Ethics is moral. He therefore comes up with the categorical imperatives.

 Deontological Theories and EthicsCategorical imperatives in Deontological Theories and Ethics

In Kant’s first imperative, he states that ‘I must always act in such a way that at the same time I can also will that my maxi (principle) becomes a universal law.’ Here, he says that in Deontological Theories and Ethics, one must never fail to speak the truth, one must keep his/her promises, and that there is no freedom.

In his second imperative, he states that ‘you must always treat humanity either in yourself or others as ends and not as means to an end.’ The implications of this is, e.g. if a married woman comes home late, and runs straight and hides under the bed, and then three armed men come and ask you where your wife is, you must always speak the truth that she is under the bed’ i.e. always speak he truth.

Kinds of Deontology in Deontological Theories and Ethics

Deontology in Deontological Theories and Ethics is divided into two;

  • Rule deontology
  • Act deontology

Rule deontology – in Deontological Theories and Ethics, this kind of deontology states that the rule is present, i.e. it is absolute, universal and therefore never changing. All actions ought to be based on that rule only.

Act deontology – in Deontological Theories and Ethics, this kind of deontology has no rule. One has to look at the situation first, then chose the action to be taken.

Critic of Deontology In Deontological Theories and Ethics

Deontology in Deontological Theories and Ethics is argued to be idealistic and therefore unreal because Kant does not offer a solution for conflict of duties. E.g. if a married woman comes home late and runs straight and hides under her bed and then three men come and ask you where your wife is you must always speak the truth that she is under the bed, i.e. always speak the truth. However, one is most likely to tell a lie. Therefore, Kant does not provide a solution to such a conflict.

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Conclusion on Deontological Theories and Ethics

These theories are as forwarded and represent Deontological Theories and Ethics

 

 

 

 

 

 

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