The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 199–212 | Cite as

Deontologists Can Be Moderate

  • Tyler CookEmail author


Moderate deontology, the view that deontological constraints can be permissibly violated when and only when doing so prevents the occurrence of sufficiently bad consequences, has become a popular alternative to absolutist forms of deontology, which hold that deontological constraints can never be permissibly violated.1It is a view that many find plausible because it accommodates commonsense deontological constraints, but it also permits commonsense violations of those constraints whenever very much is at stake (e.g. it permits one murder whenever committing a murder would prevent one million comparable murders). Considering the abundance of moderate deontologists, one would suspect that moderate deontology is probably a coherent, deontological position. However, with respect to its being a deontological position at all, Saul Smilansky maintains that the view is actually pluralist, not deontological, and that we should understand deontology only in its typical absolutist...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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