Main Features of Deontology

HideShow resource information


Kantian ethics is called Deontology from Greek word (Deon) meaning duty because it see the ethical enterprise in terms of law and duty. It is concerned with action, not consequences.Moral Value is conferred by virtue if the actions in themselves. If  a certain act is wrong then it is wrong in all circumstances and all conditions, irrespective of the consequences.

Summun Bonum & objective Moral law

Kant maintained that humans seek an ultimate end called the Supreme Good (Summun Bonum) state in which human virtue and happiness are united. However since the it is impossible for humans to achieve this in one lifetime he deduced that we have immortal souls. Kant believed that afterlife and God must exist to provide opportunity for reaching this supreme Good so Kant viewed morality led to God. Kant held view there is objective moral law and that we know this law through reason operating within moral rules and they are binding but they are established through operation of reason within, not in an external authority. Kant said we know the moral law without reference to any consequences. "two thing fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe the starry heavens above me and moral law within me"


Statements of knowledge can be priori knowable without reference e.g. 1+1+2 or they can be posteriori knowable through reference squirrels behind the tree. In addition knowledge is either Analytic which is true by definition or e.g. bicycle has two wheels or Synthetic which is said to be based on observation they can  either be true or false. Kant summarised statements of fact are either


No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all resources »