• The study of the nature of duty and obligation.

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Example Sentences

“The Bible’s Ten Commandments are an early example of deontology.”

“The golden rule is one of the most basic principles of deontology — treat others how you wish to be treated.”

“After studying deontology in her Intro to Philosophy class, she decided to create a rulebook for her roommates to follow.”

Word Origin

Greek, early 19th century

Why this word?

Deontology determines a moral framework for right and wrong — basically, rules for how to live your life. The names of philosophies usually have a root that can be converted into other parts of speech. “Deont-” is Greek for “being needed or necessary,” and the noun “deontology” is the name for an ethical rule-following philosophy. Another noun, “deontologist,” refers to one who practices or studies that philosophy. And “deontological,” an adjective, describes anything that follows the principles of deontology.

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