Deontology is a major approach to normative ethical theory that holds that whether an agent's action is right or wrong depends not just on consequences, but also on other 'agent-relative' features of an individual's situation - their relations to others, to past actions, and so on.One classical source for this view is Kant's idea that every person has an inestimable worth, or dignity, that cannot be traded off against other values. But the idea is also prominent in 'intuitionist' deontologists, who hold that many different moral considerations and principles exist, and that these cannot be reduced to any fundamental principle or value. Deontology collects, for the first time, both the major classical sources and the central contemporary expressions of this important position. In addition to Kant, classical selections from Richard Price and W. D. Ross are included. Contemporary writers represented here include Robert Nozick, Thomas Nagel, Stephen Darwall, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Frances Myrna Kamm, Warren S. Quinn, and Christine M. Korsgaard. Edited and introduced by Stephen Darwall, these readings are essential for anyone interested in normative theory.
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Author Biography - Stephen Darwall
Stephen Darwall is the John Dewey Collegiate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan. He has written widely on moral philosophy and its history, and is the author of Impartial Reason (1983), The British Moralists and the Internal 'Ought': 1640-1740 (1995), and Philosophical Ethics (1988). Along with Allan Gibbard and Peter Railton, he is co-editor of Moral Discourse and Practice.