What is Deontology?, Part One: Orthodox Viewsa Gerald F. Gaus
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Current moral philosophy is often seen as essentially a debate between the two great traditions of consequentialism and deontology. Although there has been considerable work clarifying consequentialism, deontology is more often attacked or defended than analyzed. Just how we are to understand the very idea of a deontological ethic? We shall see that competing conceptions of deontology have been advanced in recent ethical thinking, leading to differences in classifying ethical theories. If we do not focus on implausible versions, the idea of a deontological ethic is far more attractive than most philosophers have thought. Indeed, I shall argue that in an important sense, only a deontological ethic can be plausible.
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