Teleological vs Deontological

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Deontological ethics Pages: 3 (999 words) Published: December 1, 2010
Ethics is a branch of philosophy dealing with right and wrong. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition is ¹"the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and  obligation." To understand the Deontological and Teleological separations it is necessary to understand what ethics is. Obviously as it is a philosophical study, there are varying degrees and definitions that can be based simply on ones individual perception of these types.

Deontological ethics is the study of moral obligation; obviously, morals are based on many separate views, as a result, it is important to understand the varying perceptions. In the study of deontological ethics, it is the right or wrong of the action that defines it. This is versus the teleological ethical system, which focuses on the good or evil of the action and the person committing the action. Emmanuel Kant first defined these principles, ²"Kant held that nothing is good without qualification except a good will, which is one that wills to act in accord with the moral law and out of respect for that law, rather than out of natural inclinations. He saw the moral law as a categorical imperative-i.e., an unconditional command-and believed that its content could be established by human reason alone." Ethical formalism tends to dictate the logic of the approach, and does not necessarily contemplate what benefits the human versus the law, however is based purely on the action and whether it is right or wrong. Another form of deontological ethics is egoism, in which the action must benefit the person committing the action, again however basing the form on the action versus the potential morality or reflection of god, as teleological arguments tend to be. Lastly, there is natural law, and the approach based on survival of the fittest, versus contributing to the whole. When utilizing this approach it is necessary to understand that according to "natural law" it is necessary that some humans,...
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