Philosophical Studies

, Volume 163, Issue 2, pp 527-537

First online:

Agent-neutral deontology

  • Tom DoughertyAffiliated withCenter for Ethics in Society, Stanford University Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


According to the “Textbook View,” there is an extensional dispute between consequentialists and deontologists, in virtue of the fact that only the latter defend “agent-relative” principles—principles that require an agent to have a special concern with making sure that she does not perform certain types of action. I argue that, contra the Textbook View, there are agent-neutral versions of deontology. I also argue that there need be no extensional disagreement between the deontologist and consequentialist, as characterized by the Textbook View.


Consequentialism Deontology Agent-relative Agent-neutral Constraint Axiology