Deontological theories face difficulties in accounting for situations involving risk; the most natural ways of extending deontological principles to such situations have unpalatable consequences. In extending ethical principles to decision under risk, theorists often assume the risk must be incorporated into the theory by means of a function from the product of probability assignments to certain values. Deontologists should reject this assumption; essentially different actions are available to the agent when she cannot know that a certain act is in her (...) power, so we cannot simply understand her choice situation as a “risk-weighted” version of choice under certainty. (shrink)
How should deontological theories that prohibit actions of type K — such as intentionally killing an innocent person — deal with cases of uncertainty as to whether a particular action is of type K? Frank Jackson and Michael Smith, who raise this problem in their paper "Absolutist Moral Theories and Uncertainty" (2006), focus on a case where a skier is about to cause the death of ten innocent people — we don’t know for sure whether on purpose or not — (...) by causing an avalanche; and we can only save the people by shooting the skier. One possible deontological attitude towards such uncertainty is what Jackson and Smith call the threshold view, according to which whether or not the deontological constraint applies depends on our degree of (justified) certainty meets a given threshold. Jackson and Smith argue against the threshold view that it leads to implausible paradoxical moral dilemmas in a special kind of case. In this response, we show that the threshold view can avoid these implausible moral dilemmas, as long as the relevant deontological constraint is grounded in individualistic patient-based considerations, such as what an individual person is entitled to object to. (shrink)
Deontologists have long been upbraided for lacking an account of justified decision- making under risk and uncertainty. One response is to develop a deontological decision theory—a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for an act’s being permissible given an agent’s imperfect information. In this article, I show that deontologists can make more use of regular decision theory than some might have thought, but that we must adapt decision theory to accommodate agent- centered options—permissions to favor or sacrifice our own interests, (...) when doing so is overall morally worse. Accommodating options requires more than just amend- ing the decision-theoretic ‘value function’. We must change the decision rule as well. (shrink)
In his Principles of Philosophy, Descartes says, Finally, it is so manifest that we possess a free will, capable of giving or withholding its assent, that this truth must be reckoned among the first and most common notions which are born with us.
Many people profess to believe that acting morally, or as we ought to act, involves the self-conscious acceptance of some (quite specific) constraints or rules that place limits both on the pursuit of our own interests and on our pursuit of the general good. Though these people do not regard the furtherance of our own interests or the pursuit of the general good as ignoble ends, or ones that we are morally required to eschew, they believe that neither can be (...) regarded as providing us with morally sufficient reason to take action. Those who hold such a view believe that there are certain sorts of acts that are wrong in themselves, and thus morally unacceptable means to the pursuit of any ends, even ends that are morally admirable, or morally obligatory. (How strong the prohibition is against performing such acts is a matter that will be taken up later.) Philosophers call such ethical views ‘deontological’ (from the Greek deon , ‘duty’), and contrast them to views that are ‘teleological’ in structure (from telos , Greek for ‘goal’). Those who hold teleological views reject the view that there are special kinds of acts that are right or wrong in themselves. For teleologists, the rightness or wrongness of our acts is determined by a comparative assessment of their consequences. [...] The focus of this essay is on deontological theories. (shrink)
Deontological evidentialism is the claim that we ought to form and maintain our beliefs in accordance with our evidence. In this paper, I criticize two arguments in its defense. I begin by discussing Berit Broogard’s use of the distinction between narrow-scope and wide-scope requirements against W.K. Clifford’s moral defense of. I then use this very distinction against a defense of inspired by Stephen Grimm’s more recent claims about the moral source of epistemic normativity. I use this distinction once again to (...) argue that Hilary Kornblith’s criticism of Richard Feldman’s defense of is incomplete. Finally, I argue that Feldman’s defense is insensitive to the relation between normative requirements and privileged values: values that have normative authority over us. (shrink)
We tend to prescribe and appraise doxastic states in terms that are broadly deontic. According to a simple argument, such prescriptions and appraisals are improper, because they wrongly presuppose that our doxastic states are voluntary. One strategy for resisting this argument, recently endorsed by a number of philosophers, is to claim that our doxastic states are in fact voluntary (This strategy has been pursued by Steup 2008 ; Weatherson 2008 ). In this paper I argue that this strategy is neither (...) successful nor necessary. Our doxastic states are not voluntary in any interesting sense. But once we see why our doxastic states are not voluntary, we can also see that there is no apparent reason to think that deontic prescriptions and appraisals—epistemic ones, at any rate—presuppose doxastic voluntarism. Indeed, there is good reason to deny that they do so. Finally, I diagnose the misleading attraction of the idea that what I call ‘epistemic deontology’ presupposes doxastic voluntarism. (shrink)
Joshua Greene has put forward the bold empirical hypothesis that deontology is a confabulation of moral emotions. Deontological philosophy does not steam from "true" moral reasoning, but from emotional reactions, backed up by post hoc rationalizations which play no role in generating the initial moral beliefs. In this paper, I will argue against the confabulation hypothesis. First, I will highlight several points in Greene’s discussion of confabulation, and identify two possible models. Then, I will argue that the evidence does (...) not illustrate the relevant model of deontological confabulation. In fact, I will make the case that deontology is unlikely to be a confabulation because alarm-like emotions, which allegedly drive deontological theorizing, are resistant to be subject to confabulation. I will end by clarifying what kind of claims can the confabulation data support. The upshot of the final section is that confabulation data cannot be used to undermine deontological theory in itself, and ironically, if one commits to the claim that a deontological justification is a confabulation in a particular case, then the data suggests that in general deontology has a prima facie validity. (shrink)
This paper undertakes two projects: Firstly, it offers a new account of the so-called deontological conception of epistemic justification (DCEJ). Secondly, it brings out the basic weaknesses of DCEJ, thus accounted for. It concludes that strong reasons speak against its acceptance. The new account takes it departure from William Alston’s influential work. Section 1 argues that a fair account of DCEJ is only achieved by modifying Alston’s account and brings out the crucial difference between DCEJ and the less radical position (...) of epistemic deontologism. Section 2 starts by setting up two fundamental problems for proponents of DCEJ to solve. It argues further that proponents of DCEJ may not convincingly solve those problems by appeal to a notion of permissible belief. Section 3 investigates, whether an appeal to the notion of blameless belief may help DCEJ overcome its central problems. It argues that, even if an appeal to the notion of blameless belief has advantages over an appeal to the notion of permissible belief, DCEJ cannot convincingly overcome the problems set up for it. Further, it is brought out that DCEJ commits its proponents to a problematic non-standard view regarding the intrinsic value of epistemic justification. Section 4 concludes that DCEJ is not the natural conception of epistemic justification, that Alston takes it to be. However, its problems do not leave a scratch on epistemic deontologism, properly conceived. (shrink)
Deontological evidentialism is the claim that S ought to form or maintain S’s beliefs in accordance with S’s evidence. A promising argument for this view turns on the premise that consideration c is a normative reason for S to form or maintain a belief that p only if c is evidence that p is true. In this paper, I discuss the surprising relation between a recently influential argument for this key premise and the principle that ought implies can. I argue (...) that anyone who antecedently accepts or rejects this principle already has a reason to resist either this argument’s premises or its role in support of deontological evidentialism. (shrink)
Matthias Steup has developed a compatibilist account of doxastic control, according to which one’s beliefs are under one’s control if and only if they have a “good” causal history. Paradigmatically good causal histories include being caused to believe what one’s evidence indicates, whereas bad ones include those that indicate that the believer is blatantly irrational or mentally ill. I argue that if this is the only kind of control that we have over our beliefs, then our beliefs are not properly (...) subject to epistemic evaluation in deontological terms. I take as premises the claims (1) that acts which violate a deontic standard must be under the control of the agent that performs them, and (2) that deontic standards are deontic standards only if there is both something that it is to comply with them, and something that it is to violate them. The argument proceeds by showing that any belief which one might take to violate a deontic standard of a distinctively epistemic kind has a “bad” causal history, and so is, according to the compatibilist account, not under our control. Since these beliefs are not under our control, it follows from premise (1) that they do not violate any deontic standards of a distinctively epistemic kind. It then follows, from premise (2), that there are no deontic standards, of a distinctively epistemic kind, that govern belief. So if we have only compatibilist control over our beliefs, our beliefs are not properly subject to epistemic evaluation in deontological terms. (shrink)
It seems that we can know moral truths. We are also rather reluctant to defer to moral testimony. But it’s not obvious how moral cognitivism is compatible with pessimism about moral testimony. If moral truths are knowable, shouldn’t it be possible for others to know moral truths you don’t know, so that it is wise for you to defer to what they say? Or, alternatively, if it’s always reasonable to refuse to defer to the wisest among us, doesn’t this show (...) that morality is not genuinely cognitive? There is a tension in our commonsense moral epistemology. In this chapter I (a) explicate this tension, (b) criticize how others have attempted to resolve it, and finally (c) explain how Rossian deontology helps us see that the tension is only apparent: morality is indeed knowable, despite the fact that it is usually wise to refuse to defer to moral testimony. (shrink)
This book offers a new way of approaching the place of the will in Descartes' mature epistemology and ethics. Departing from the widely accepted view, Noa Naaman-Zauderer suggests that Descartes regards the will, rather than the intellect, as the most significant mark of human rationality, both intellectual and practical. Through a close reading of Cartesian texts from the Meditations onward, she brings to light a deontological and non-consequentialist dimension of Descartes' later thinking, which credits the proper use of free will (...) with a constitutive, evaluative role. She shows that the right use of free will, to which Descartes assigns obligatory force, constitutes for him an end in its own right rather than merely a means for attaining any other end, however valuable. Her important study has significant implications for the unity of Descartes' thinking, and for the issue of responsibility, inviting scholars to reassess Descartes' philosophical legacy. (shrink)
Current discussions of business ethics usually only consider deontological and utilitarian approaches. What is missing is a discussion of traditional teleology, often referred to as virtue ethics. While deontology and teleology are useful, they both suffer insufficiencies. Traditional teleology, while deontological in many respects, does not object to utilitarian style calculations as long as they are contained within a moral framework that is not utilitarian in its origin. It contains the best of both approaches and can be used to (...) focus on the individual''s role within an organization. More work is needed in exposing students and faculty to traditional teleology and its place in business ethic''s discussions. (shrink)
Deontology brings together some of the most significant philosophical work on ethics, presenting canonical essays on core questions in moral philosophy. Edited and introduced by Stephen Darwall, these readings are essential for anyone interested in normative theory.
Empirical research into moral decision-making is often taken to have normative implications. For instance, in his recent book, Greene (2013) relies on empirical findings to establish utilitarianism as a superior normative ethical theory. Kantian ethics, and deontological ethics more generally, is a rival view that Greene attacks. At the heart of Greene’s argument against deontology is the claim that deontological moral judgments are the product of certain emotions and not of reason. Deontological ethics is a mere rationalization of these (...) emotions. Accordingly Greene maintains that deontology should be abandoned. This paper is a defense of deontological ethical theory. It argues that Greene’s argument against deontology needs further support. Greene’s empirical evidence is open to alternative interpretations. In particular, it is not clear that Greene’s characterization of alarm-like emotions that are relative to culture and personal experience is empirically tenable. Moreover, it is implausible that such emotions produce specifically deontological judgments. A rival sentimentalist view, according to which all moral judgments are determined by emotion, is at least as plausible given the empirical evidence and independently supported by philosophical theory. I therefore call for an improvement of Greene’s argument. (shrink)
In China, political philosophy is still a comparatively new academic discipline. While there is no such phrase as "political philosophy" in ancient Chinese texts, there are elements within them that could be considered part of that field. Central questions of Chinese ancient political philosophy include the legitimacy of the source of political power, the foundation of moral rationality for the use of political power, and the purpose of political activities. This book explores the ideas of rights, the foundations of law, (...) transference of power, democracy and other topic as debated in ancient times. Focusing on important political thinkers in Chinese history, such as Kongzi, Laozi, Xu Fuguan, Liang Qichao and Li Dazhao, the book explains characteristics that are particular to China, such as the system of abdication, the general will of the people, and the society of Great Harmony. While making comparisons between Chinese and Western political philosophy, the book also discusses how to establish a Chinese modern state and how to promote Chinese culture today so that it can influence more and more people around the world. The book will be a valuable reference for scholars of Chinese philosophy, political philosophy and Chinese culture. (shrink)
This paper, being a companion to the book  elaborates the deontology of sequential and compound actions based on relational models and formal constructs borrowed from formal linguistics. The semantic constructions presented in this paper emulate to some extent the content of  but are more involved. Although the present work should be regarded as a sequel of  it is self-contained and may be read independently. The issue of permission and obligation of actions is presented in the form (...) of a logical system. This system is semantically defined by providing its intended models in which the role of actions of various types is accentuated. Since the consequence relation is not finitary, other semantically defined variants of are defined. The focus is on the finitary system in which only finite compound actions are admissible. An adequate axiom system for it is defined. The strong completeness theorem is the central result. The role of the canonical model in the proof of the completeness theorem is emphasized. (shrink)
Holly Smith has recently argued that Subjective Deontological Moral Theories (SDM theories) cannot adequately account for agents’ duties to gather information. I defend SDM theories against this charge and argue that they can account for agents’ duties to inform themselves. Along the way, I develop some principles governing how SDM theories, and deontological moral theories in general, should assign ‘deontic value’ or ‘deontic weight’ to particular actions.
Normative ethical theories owe us an account of how to evaluate decisions under risk and uncertainty. Deontologists seem at a disadvantage here: our best decision theories seem tailor-made for consequentialism. For example, decision theory enjoins us to always perform our best option; deontology is more permissive. In this paper, we discuss and defend the idea that, when some pro-tanto wrongful act is all-things considered permissible, because it is a ‘lesser evil’, it is often merely permissible, by the lights of (...)deontology. We show that this raises new problems for deontological decision theory, and we show that to resolve them, we need to take a more innovative approach to morally evaluating decision-making under risk and uncertainty. (shrink)
Joshua Greene has argued that several lines of empirical research, including his own fMRI studies of brain activity during moral decision-making, comprise strong evidence against the legitimacy of deontology as a moral theory. This is because, Greene maintains, the empirical studies establish that “characteristically deontological” moral thinking is driven by prepotent emotional reactions which are not a sound basis for morality in the contemporary world, while “characteristically consequentialist” thinking is a more reliable moral guide because it is characterized by (...) greater cognitive command and control. In this essay, I argue that Greene does not succeed in drawing a strong statistical or causal connection between prepotent emotional reactions and deontological theory, and so does not undermine the legitimacy of deontological moral theories. The results that Greene relies on from neuroscience and social psychology do not establish his conclusion that consequentialism is superior to deontology. (shrink)
Deontological internalism is the family of views where justification is a positive deontological appraisal of someone's epistemic agency: S is justified, that is, when S is blameless, praiseworthy, or responsible in believing that p. Brian Weatherson discusses very briefly how a plausible principle of ampliative transmission reveals a worry for versions of deontological internalism formulated in terms of epistemic blame. Weatherson denies, however, that similar principles reveal similar worries for other versions. I disagree. In this article, I argue that plausible (...) principles of ampliative transmission reveal a worry for deontological internalism in general. (shrink)
Crispin Wright has advanced a number of arguments to show that, in addition to evidential warrant, we have a species of non-evidential warrant, namely, “entitlement”, which forms the basis of a particular view of the architecture of perceptual justification known as “epistemic conservatism”. It is widely known, however, that Wright's conservative view is beset by a number of problems. In this article, I shall argue that the kind of warrant that emerges from Wright's account is not the standard truth-conducive justification, (...) but what is known as the deontological conception of justification. It will be argued that the deontological justification has features that make it a better candidate for representing a conservative architecture. These results will be reinforced by showing how the deontological framework can make better sense of a recent theory of justified belief that takes its inspiration from Wright's conservative account. Thus understood, we may see the liberalism–conservatism controversy as actually an extension of the older debate over which conception of justification, truth-conducive or deontological, can best represent the epistemic status of our belief-forming practices. (shrink)
The mere means principle says it is impermissible to treat someone as merely a means to someone else’s ends. I specify this principle with two conditions: a victim is used as merely a means if the victim does not want the treatment by the agent and the agent wants the presence of the victim’s body. This principle is a specification of the doctrine of double effect which is compatible with moral intuitions and with a restricted kind of libertarianism. An extension (...) of this mere means principle, where not only using but also considering someone as merely a means is immoral, can explain and unify other deontological principles: doing versus allowing, partiality in imperfect duties of beneficence, and the asymmetry of procreational duties. A loop trolley dilemma is often presented as a counterexample of the mere means principle, but I argue that this dilemma generates a moral illusion, comparable to perceptual illusions. (shrink)
According to the “Textbook View,” there is an extensional dispute between consequentialists and deontologists, in virtue of the fact that only the latter defend “agent-relative” principles—principles that require an agent to have a special concern with making sure that she does not perform certain types of action. I argue that, contra the Textbook View, there are agent-neutral versions of deontology. I also argue that there need be no extensional disagreement between the deontologist and consequentialist, as characterized by the Textbook (...) View. (shrink)
Virtue Rediscovered: Deontology, Consequentialism, and Virtue Ethics in the Contemporary Moral Landscape explores the nature and position of virtue ethics within the contemporary moral landscape and in so doing develops a more complicated framework for ethical theorizing.
This chapter defends a deontological approach to both the non-identity problem and what is referred to as the “inconsequentiality problem.” Both problems arise in cases where, although the actions of presently living people appear to have harmful consequences for future people, it is difficult to explain why there are moral reasons against such actions. The deontological response to both problems appeals to a distinction between causal and non-causal consequences. By acknowledging the moral importance of such a distinction, deontologists can vindicate (...) the judgment that, collectively and individually, we have harm-based reasons against bringing about bad consequences for future people. (shrink)
It is currently fashionable to hold that deontology induces internalism. That is, those who think that epistemic justification is essentially a matter of duty fulfillment are thought to have a good reason for accepting internalism in epistemology. I shall argue that no deontological conception of epistemic justification provides a good reason for endorsing internalism. My main contention is that a requirement having to do with epistemic defeat---a requirement that many externalists impose on knowledge---guarantees the only sorts of deontological justification (...) that have a chance at inducing internalism. Given this compatibility of externalism and deontology, we may safely conclude that deontology by itself doesn’t lend support to internalism. (shrink)
A critical edition of three works of Bentham, Deontology and The Article on Utilitarianism were previously unpublished. Together with An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, they provide a comrehensive exposition of Bentham's views. Based entirely on manuscripts by Bentham of his amanuenses, this edition's full introduction linking the three works. Each work is supplemented with detailed and critical notes.
It is currently fashionable to hold that deontology induces internalism. That is, those who think that epistemic justification is essentially a matter of duty fulfillment are thought to have a good reason for accepting internalism in epistemology. I shall argue that no deontological conception of epistemic justification provides a good reason for endorsing internalism. My main contention is that a requirement having to do with epistemic defeat-a requirement that many externalists impose on knowledge-guarantees the only sorts of deontological justification (...) that have a chance at inducing internalism. Given this compatibility of externalism and deontology, we may safely conclude that deontology by itself doesn't lend support to internalism. (shrink)
This paper offers an alternative to deontological and utilitarian approaches to making ethical decisions and taking good actions by organisational leaders. It argues that the relational and context-dependent nature of leadership necessitates reference to an ethical approach which explicitly takes these aspects into account. Such an approach is offered in the re-conceptualisation of ethical action on the part of leaders as a process of “coming into right relation” vis-à-vis those affected by their decisions and actions. Heidegger’s notion of “dwelling” is (...) explored as a means of “coming into right relation”. Three aspects of dwelling: “staying with”, “comportment” and “active engagement” are described and ways in which they might be practically enacted by leaders are suggested. The paper concludes by reflecting on the ways adopting a “dwelling” approach to resolving ethical issues implies a re-conceptualisation of leadership itself. (shrink)
Any adequate account of the distinction between consequentialist and deontological moral systems must take account of the central place given to constraints in the latter. Constraints place limits on what each of us may do in the pursuit of any goal, including the maximisation of the good. There is some debate, however, both over how constraints are to be characterised, and over the rationale for their inclusion in a moral system. Some authors view constraints as agent-relative: a constraint supplies an (...) agent with an agent-relative reason to refrain from acting in the prohibited manner. A reason is agent-relative if it contains an ineliminable back-reference to the agent. On this characterisation, it is natural to suppose that constraints arise because of an agent’s concern with her own agency. There is perhaps, however, an alternative to this agent-focussed rationale: constraints, although characterised in terms of agent-relative reasons, might be best explained and defended via considerations of the potential victim of wrongdoing—yielding a victim- or patient-focussed rationale. Or, perhaps, constraints are not only best defended by a victim-focussed rationale; they are also best characterised by reference to the potential victim. In what follows, we advocate an agent-relative characterisation of, and an agent-focussed rationale for, constraints. We begin by developing a rigorous account of agent-focussed agent-relativity, before turning to consider patient-based approaches. (shrink)
Many claim that a plausible moral theory would have to include a principle of beneficence, a principle telling us to produce goods that are both welfarist and agent‐neutral. But when we think carefully about the necessary connection between moral obligations and reasons for action, we see that agents have two reasons for action, and two moral obligations: they must not interfere with any agent's exercise of his rational capacities and they must do what they can to make sure that agents (...) have rational capacities to exercise. According to this distinctively deontological view of morality, though we are obliged to produce goods, the goods in question are non‐welfarist and agent‐relative. The value of welfare thus turns out to be, at best, instrumental. (shrink)
I argue that a defense of deontological restrictions need not resort to what I call the 'Good/Bad asymmetry', according to which it is morally more important to avoid harming others than to prevent just such harm. I replace this paradoxical asymmetry with two non-paradoxical ones. These are the following: We ought to treat an act of preventing harm to persons precisely as such , rather than as the causing of a benefit; but we ought to treat an act that causes (...) harm precisely as such , rather than as the prevention of a benefit. It is morally more important not to cause harm than to cause benefit. I show how we can use those asymmetries, together with certain other assumptions, to defend restrictions. I also offer a partial defense of the first of the two asymmetries. (shrink)
Epistemic deontology is the view that the concept of epistemic justification is deontological: a justified belief is, by definition, an epistemically permissible belief. I defend this view against the argument from doxastic involuntarism, according to which our doxastic attitudes are not under our voluntary control, and thus are not proper objects for deontological evaluation. I argue that, in order to assess this argument, we must distinguish between a compatibilist and a libertarian construal of the concept of voluntary control. If (...) we endorse a compatibilist construal, it turns out that we enjoy voluntary control over our doxastic attitudes after all. If, on the other hand, we endorse a libertarian construal, the result is that, for our doxastic attitudes to be suitable objects of deontological evaluation, they need not be under our voluntary control. (shrink)
The paper challenges William Alston’s argument against doxastic deontology, the view that we have epistemic duties concerning our beliefs. The core of the argument is that doxastic deontology requires voluntary control over our beliefs, which we do not have. The idea that doxastic deontology requires voluntary control is supposed to follow from the principle that ought implies can. The paper argues that this is wrong: in the OIC principle which regulates our doxastic duties the “can” does not (...) stand for the ability to shape our beliefs voluntarily. As an examination of everyday examples shows, it stands for cognitive competence, the reliable ability to acquire beliefs in compliance with the epistemic norms. The doxastic OIC principle asserts, in brief, that one is only obliged to believe something if one’s cognitive capacities are sufficiently strong. It is also explained why the doxastic duties do not require voluntary control as opposed to moral duties. This understanding of doxastic duties saves our everyday doxastic deontic judgments from Alston’s argument, but does not help the deontological conception of justification, which understands justification as not violating one’s epistemic duties. It actually provides another argument against the deontological conception: if the OIC regulating our doxastic duties is construed as suggested, the deontological conception of justification implies that one’s doxastic duties and, consequently, whether one’s belief is justified depend on one’s cognitive competence. Since cognitive competence varies from person to person, justification will not matter to truth and knowledge in the way epistemic justification is supposed to do. (shrink)
One of the most controversial issues to emerge in recent studies of Fichte concerns the status of his normative ethics, i.e., his theory of what makes actions morally good or bad. Scholars are divided over Fichte’s view regarding the ‘final end’ of moral striving, since it appears this end can be either a specific goal permitting maximizing calculations (the consequentialist reading defended by Kosch 2015), or an indeterminate goal permitting only duty-based decisions (the deontological reading defended by Wood 2016). While (...) I think each interpretive position contains an element of truth, my aim in this paper is to defend a third alternative, according to which Fichte’s normative ethics presents us with a unique form of social perfectionism. (shrink)
In normative ethics there has been a long-standing debate between consequentialists and deontologists. To settle this dispute moral theorists have often used a selective approach. They have focused on particular aspects of our moral practice and have teased out what consequentialists and deontologists have to say about it. One of the focal points of this debate has been the morality of promising. In this paper I review arguments on both sides and examine whether consequentialists or deontologists offer us a more (...) plausible account of promissory obligation. My conclusion is negative. Given the arguments on the table, I argue, we should conclude that the debate is in a stalemate. It is, therefore, hard to see how the issue of promissory obligation could help us choose between consequentialism and deontology. (shrink)
Deontology and utilitarianism are two competing principles that guide our moral judgment. Recently, deontology is thought to be intuitive and is based on an error-prone and biased approach, whereas utilitarianism is relatively reflective and a suitable framework for making decision. In this research, the authors explored the relationship among moral identity, moral decision, and moral behavior to see how a preference for the deontological solution can lead to moral behavior. In study 1, a Web-based survey demonstrated that when (...) making decisions, individuals who viewed themselves as moral people preferred deontological ideals to the utilitarian framework. In study 2, the authors investigated the effect of moral identity and moral decision on moral behavior in an experimental study. The results showed that when deontology was coupled with the motivational power of moral identity, individuals were most likely to behave morally. (shrink)
That many values can be consequentialized – incorporated into a ranking of states of affairs – is often taken to support the view that apparent alternatives to consequentialism are in fact forms of consequentialism. Such consequentializing arguments take two very different forms. The first is concerned with the relationship between morally right action and states of affairs evaluated evaluator-neutrally, the second with the relationship between what agents ought to do and outcomes evaluated evaluator-relatively. I challenge the consequentializing arguments for both (...) forms of consequentialism. The plausibility of the evaluator-neutral consequentializing of certain values, I argue, in fact establishes the implausibility of an evaluator-neutral consequentialist account of such values. The problems that beset this evaluator-neutral consequentializing argument do not beset its evaluator-relative counterpart. But I demonstrate that evaluator-relatively consequentialized theories can also readily be ‘deontologized’, located within an alternative evaluative framework that is congenial to the articulation of nonconsequentialist moral theories. Such an alternative framework can accommodate what is compelling in consequentialists’ ‘Compelling Idea,’ and what is attractive in their Explanatory Thought. This alternative, moreover, can function as a shared evaluative framework within which the merits of consequentialist and nonconsequentialist alternatives can be considered without begging the question either way. (shrink)
This paper offers an alternative to deontological and utilitarian approaches to making ethical decisions and taking good actions by organisational leaders. It argues that the relational and context-dependent nature of leadership necessitates reference to an ethical approach which explicitly takes these aspects into account. Such an approach is offered in the re-conceptualisation of ethical action on the part of leaders as a process of "coming into right relation" vis-à-vis those affected by their decisions and actions. Heidegger's notion of "dwelling" is (...) explored as a means of "coming into right relation". Three aspects of dwelling: "staying with", "comportment" and "active engagement" are described and ways in which they might be practically enacted by leaders are suggested. The paper concludes by reflecting on the ways adopting a "dwelling" approach to resolving ethical issues implies a re-conceptualisation of leadership itself. (shrink)
In acest articol voi intreprinde o analiza conceptuala asupra formei si a continutului codului deontologic al farmacistilor din Romania din perspectiva expertizei etice. Voi atrage atentia asupra necesitatii de a distinge intre obligatii morale si alte tipuri de normativitate. Dupa analiza diferitelor modele de redactare a codurilor de etica, voi evidentia doua exigente metodologice pe care ar trebui să le satisfaca un cod deontologic. In final, voi puncta cateva provocari pentru managementul eticii farmaceutice.
In this paper we look at business ethics from a deontological perspective. We address the theory of ethical decision-making and deontological ethics for business executives and explore the concept of “moral duty” as transcending mere gain and profit maximization. Two real-world cases that focus on accounting fraud as the ethical conception. Through these cases, we show that while accounting fraud – from a consequentialist perspective – may appear to provide a quick solution to a pressing problem, longer term effects of (...) fraud and misconduct make ethical implications more apparent. Widely used compensation schemes also may have the tendency to fuel unethical behavior. We argue that an ethical reinvigoration of the business world can only be accomplished by encouraging the business realm to impose upon itself some measure of self-regulating along the lines of deontological ethics. Principles of deontology should guide executive decision-making particularly when executives are tempted to operate outside of codified legislation or are bound to act under judicial-free conditions. (shrink)
Richard Swinburne’s formulation of the argument from evil is representative of a pervasive way of understanding the challenge evil poses for theistic belief. But there is an error in Swinburne’s formulation : he fails to consider possible deontological constraints on God’s legitimate responses to evil. To demonstrate the error’s significance, I show that some important objections to Swinburne’s theodicy admit of a novel answer once we correct for Swinburne’s Lapse. While more is needed to show that the resultant “deontological theodicy” (...) succeeds, its promise highlights the significance of Swinburne’s Lapse and the prospects for theodicy it has obscured. (shrink)