Meaning of deontology in English:


Pronunciation /ˌdiːɒnˈtɒlədʒi/


mass nounPhilosophy
  • The study of the nature of duty and obligation.

    ‘While both deontologists and rule - utilitarians are rule-followers, deontology explicitly stresses duty and intention rather than outcome, whereas the ultimate focus of rule-utilitarianism is on consequences.’
    • ‘Another problem for virtue ethics, which is shared by both utilitarianism and deontology, is ‘the justification problem.’’
    • ‘There are two main categories of deontological theories in the literature: rule deontology and act deontology.’
    • ‘This may be the difference between Cohen's deontology, concerned with duty for its own sake, and a teleological world view, concerned with the consequences of actions.’
    • ‘Traditionally, the field of normative ethics is discussed in terms of two broad categories of ethical orientation, deontology and teleology.’


Early 19th century from Greek deont- ‘being needed or necessary’ (from dei ‘it is necessary’) + -logy.