In Johanna Jauernig & Christoph Lütge (eds.), Business Ethics and Risk Management. Springer. pp. 111-126 (2014)

Authors
Nikil S. Mukerji
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Abstract
In normative ethics there has been a long-standing debate between consequentialists and deontologists. To settle this dispute moral theorists have often used a selective approach. They have focused on particular aspects of our moral practice and have teased out what consequentialists and deontologists have to say about it. One of the focal points of this debate has been the morality of promising. In this paper I review arguments on both sides and examine whether consequentialists or deontologists offer us a more plausible account of promissory obligation. My conclusion is negative. Given the arguments on the table, I argue, we should conclude that the debate is in a stalemate. It is, therefore, hard to see how the issue of promissory obligation could help us choose between consequentialism and deontology.
Keywords ethics  moral philosophy  deontology  consequentialism  promissory obligations  John Stuart Mill  method of concomitant variation
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