- The study of the nature of duty and obligation.
“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.”
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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