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Difference Between Deontology and Teleology

Deontology vs Teleology

Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves questions about morality and the perception of good and evil, of right and wrong, of justice, virtue, and vice. It has the following branches: meta-ethics, normative ethics, applied ethics, moral psychology, and descriptive ethics.

These branches have several different schools of thought and subfields, among them are: hedonism, Epicureanism, stoicism, modern ethics, applied ethics, moral psychology, deontology, and teleology or consequentialism.
Deontology is also referred to as duty-based ethics. It is an approach to ethics that addresses whether the motives behind certain actions are right or wrong instead of focusing on whether the results of the action are right or wrong. It is based on each individual’s duty or obligation towards each other, all living things, and the environment based on moral beliefs and values. It teaches about always acting in good faith and adheres to the Golden Rule to treat others the way you want to be treated by them.

The Ten Commandments are examples of deontology. They are moral duties that we have been taught since we were children, and we are molded by them in the way that we should treat others, to be fair and not using them to serve selfish intentions.

Teleology or consequentialism is referred to as results-oriented ethics. It focuses on the purpose of each action and whether there is an intention or meaning for the action. It deals with the consequences of an action. It involves examining past experiences in order to figure out the results of present actions. An example of which is utilitarianism which is also referred to as the greatest happiness principle. It measures how much overall pleasure can be derived from a certain action and how much pain is averted.
While deontology is based on man’s absolute duty towards mankind and how it is given priority over results, teleology is based on the results of an action and on whether an action produces greater happiness and less pain.


1.Deontology is an approach to ethics which adheres to the theory that an end does not justify the means while teleology is an approach to ethics that adheres to the theory that the end always justifies the means.
2.Deontology is also known as duty-based ethics while teleology is also known as results-oriented ethics.
3.Deontology adheres to the Golden Rule which is to do unto others what you want them to do unto you while teleology does not; rather, it is also referred to as the greatest happiness principle because it justifies an action if it produces the greatest happiness and least amount of pain.
4.Deontology teaches to be fair and not to use others for selfish reasons while teleology teaches about doing whatever actions produce a result that is agreeable to a person.
5.Teleology examines past experiences in order to predict the results of a present action while deontology follows what is morally right based on the values that are instilled in each person.

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  1. Everything is spot on but the very last sentence.

    “deontology follows what is morally right based on the values that are instilled in each person.”

    What Kant did, for example, is precisely try to determine some universal rule for what is always right _independently_ of values the variable values that are instilled in each person.

  2. wow great I can now give the difference between these early. When this was taught in class I never understood it. Am relief now. Thanks so much

    • quite enlightening information it is well explained. though consider giving me examples next time as examples make understanding easy and faster.

  3. Explanation given is very much simple and anyone can understand it.

  4. Enriching information right there.



  5. Thanks a lot for enlightening me on this subject.

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