‘Legal Theory Lexicon: Deontology’

“A prior Legal Theory Lexicon post explored utilitarianism, an approach to normative moral theory that has had an enormous influence on legal thought. This week, I take up one of utilitarianism’s main rivals, deonotology. Deontological moral theories vary in myriad ways, but the focal point for deontology is the concept of duty with its correlative notions of rights and permission. Thus, the distinctive thesis of deontology in general might be formulated as the claim that the rightness of action is a function of whether the action is required, prohibited, or permitted by a moral rule. This is, of course, a simple formulation, and contemporary philosophical theories in the deontological tradition offer more sophisticated and nuanced formulations …” (more)

[Lawrence Solum, Legal Theory Blog, 9 June]

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