There are two fundamental types of ethical theory: those based on the notion of choosing one’s actions so as to maximize the value or values to be expected as consequences of those actions (called consequentialist or teleological theories [from the Greek telos, meaning aim or purpose]; and those based on the notion of choosing one’s actions according to standards of duty or obligation that refer not to consequences but to the nature oaf actions and the motives that are held by those performing them (called deontological theories [from the Greek deon, meaning that which is necessary or binding]). We will consider each type more fully and give specific instances of each type as illustrations.
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