Deontology Definition

Ethical theory concerned with duties and rights.
American Heritage
The ethical doctrine which holds that the worth of an action is determined as by its conformity to some binding rule rather than by its consequences.
Webster's New World
Deontology is defined as an ethical theory that the morality of an action should be based on whether that action itself is right or wrong under a series of rules, rather than based on the consequences of the action.
An example of deontology is the belief that killing someone is wrong, even if it was in self-defense.

Origin of Deontology

  • Greek deon deont- obligation, necessity (from) (neuter present participle of dein to need, lack deu-1 in Indo-European roots) –logy

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Ancient Greek δέον (deon, “that which is binding, needful, right, proper”) + λόγος (logos, “argument”).

    From Wiktionary

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