• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Deontology- a theory based purely on obligation or duty.

Extracts from this document...


Andria J. Williams Phil 022 10-28-03 Exam #2 Deontology- a theory based purely on obligation or duty It cannot be agreed upon that actions considered right are deemed as such solely because the corollary of that action is determined to be good. Consequentialism, a well-known theory of the right, suggests that the consequences of an action determine whether that action is considered as good or bad. However, the consequentialist theory does not leave room for special circumstances and ultimately leads to alienation. It is for this reason that deontology proves to be not necessarily right, yet one of the most compelling and interesting theories. Deontology is a theory of the right, which suggests that people have an obligation to behave in a specific way towards others. In other words, rules must be followed at all times. When broken down into the derivative words, the word "deontology", is compiled of the Greek word "deon", meaning duty. For instance, it is considered a moral duty not to kill, lie, or perform any other like tasks that violate moral written or unwritten laws, even if it produces a good consequence. This part of deontology protects the moral character of a person, thus refusing to impose on one's personal belief or morale. One such situation where this theory may become relevant can be found within the following scenario. A white female has been raped. ...read more.


His theories follow that of John Locke and capitalism. Within the theory of side constraints, it is suggested that a person's rights are side constraints. He strictly adheres to the concept that people should not be used as a means to an end, but only be used for ends that they themselves choose, thus further stressing the idea of personal rights. For instance, if a family owns an estate, which was justly acquired, no being should have the right to take this house or acquire anything of the inhabitants of the house, no matter what the circumstance. It would be wrong for anyone, government included, to take the possession of another under normal, unstressed situations. In everyday life, provided there are no complications, this theory proves to be a very credible one, due to the sense that every being has a need to feel secure with his or her own holdings. It gives an ultimate sense of pride and helps to encourage hard work and strivings fort the overall betterment of society as a whole, whereas, the opposite of side constraints, as described by Nozick, would be communism, a government in which nothing is truly owned by the people. Side constraints are necessary to an extent for a people to progress; however, too much of anything and the addition of a complicating matter could turn Nozick's theory of personal rights into a debate about an injustice and moral wrong. ...read more.


Deontology, as a theory of the right, would be sufficient in the perfect world; however, Earth is not and will never be considered as any type of utopia. The idea, which suggests that duties and obligations must be the foundations of all right physical and mental actions, does not always yield the best outcome. Deontology is in a sense a selfish theory, which promotes the strict following of rules and universal laws, while encouraging the private property of a person to be valued above overall well-being. This type of ranking can be used, in our not so perfect world, to promote moral wrongs. Ironically, these morally wrong actions are not considered as such by the deontologist, they are, in fact determined to be right. In knowing this deontology cannot be the best theory for determining what is right and wrong. Although this theory of the right deemed deontology seems to be geared toward the rights of the people, it ultimately will also be predisposed to harm and take away from the rights of the people. It holds strictly that all rules should be followed. This type of reasoning leads to the eradication of rights, which is depicted undoubtedly within the previous scenario dealing with the mass murders of innocent people. Being that the theory of the right, deontology allows a person to adhere to their personal moral rules and universal laws, yet also has the possibility to lead to the rights of others being destroyed unintentionally, makes deontology ultimately insufficient. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Power promotes pragmatism

    guarantee the right to unload goods there and to sail trade vessels down the Mississippi River. Eschewing the militaristic course of action encouraged by Alexander Hamilton, Jefferson instead pursued diplomatic means and, acting in concert with Secretary of State James Madison, sent James Monroe and Robert R.

  2. A Study of Carl Rogers' Theory of Personality

    The "maladjusted person" is the polar opposite of the fully functioning individual (who was introduced early in this essay). The maladjusted individual is defensive, maintains rather than enhances his/her life, lives according to a preconceived plan, feels manipulated rather than free, and is common and conforming rather than creative (Maddi, 1996).

  1. Karl Marx's (1818 - 1883) theory of capitalism.

    Many of these ideas cloud the true relationships that underlie capitalist society. Marx called these kinds of ideas ideologies. The first type of ideology is emergent from the structure of society, and can be seen in things like the fetishism of commodities, or money.

  2. So, whats wrong with Anarchism?

    However the core idea of this theory is that it expects humans to work together for the good of the collective rather than for their own interest. This would be hard to achieve because in order to organise a collective unit there would be need for someone to organise events

  1. Signal detection theory

    or noise (N). It means that the noise is always present, and on some trials, we add a signal. A false alarm occurs if the subject says yes on a noise trial, and a hit occurs if the subject says yes on a signal-plus-noise trial.

  2. If the state is not a voluntary organisation, how can one be under any ...

    this question, I realised that I had no idea what my own moral position was regarding some of the most crucial problems and contradictions of political philosophy. Many of these questions require (I think) a moral stance in order to be able to make sense of them.

  1. Power and Politics in Organizations: Public and Private Sector Comparisons

    I have a slightly different sense of the future. In my view the truly intelligent organization in the private sector will have abandoned some of the mythologies that persist in management journals and corporate boardrooms. The omnipresence of power within organizations and the struggle over its exercise (Pfeffer 1992; Pfeffer and Salancik 1974)

  2. How and why does Locke explain the creation, value and protection of property?

    Locke says "of the products of the earth useful to the life of man nine tenths are the effects of labour (Locke, 25)." In effect, the increase of land meant an increase in the employment of land, which built the foundations for the cities, industry, and government that emerged.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work