deontology essay

deontology essay

(1) Analyse the Important features of deontology. [18]

Kantian deontology was first written in 1788, during the Enlightenment, by a Prussian, Lutheran theologian called Immanuel Kant. He wrote that morality was based on duty and thus morality came from doing ones duty for duties sake rather than for personal gain or for emotional reason. He also puts forward that humans seek an ultimate end called the supreme good or “summum bonnum” a state in which human virtue and happiness are united. 

Kantian deontology is based on ‘a priori synthetic.’ ‘A priori’ is knowledge without reference or experience of a certain situation. The opposite of this being ‘a posterior’ which is knowledge though experience. ‘A priori’ knowledge comes from learning such as ‘1+1=2,’ no experience of this is needed to know this simple equation. However, if one said “the chair is blue” it could only be know to be true by seeing said chair, therefore, making it ‘a posterior.’ Further division can be made in to ‘synthetic’ and ‘analytic’ knowledge. ‘Synthetic’ knowledge can require such things as observations, measurement or experimentation. This would generally place ‘synthetic’ knowledge with ‘a posterior’ as both need evidence to see the truth. ‘Analytic’ knowledge is knowledge which needs no further information apart from what is given; such as “all spinsters are women” this needs no further explanation as only women can be spinsters. Thus, placing “analytic” knowledge with “a priori” knowledge. However, Kant put forward that moral statements are “a priori synthetic” this is as morality can’t prove what people should do by looking – making it ‘a priori’ – and moral knowledge is gained by reason, which falls in to the idea of ‘synthetic’ statements. 

Kant writes “it is impossible to conceive anything at all in the world, or even out of it, which can be taken as good without qualification, except good will.” Kant argues that the highest form of good is ‘good will,’ and that by having...

Similar Essays