Kantian deontology

Kantian deontology argues that we are morally obligated to act in harmony with a particular set of rules and principles disregarding the results. The word deontology is derived from the Greek word deon, which means duty. Kant’s deontology is derived from how human beings reason. According to this theory, the end does not justify the means. In this case study, therefore Steve is obligated by this theory to act right by not giving Terry the contract. The consequences of his actions should not determine the moral path he takes. Kant says that one must treat himself and others as a means and not as the end. This means that people should not take actions not because of the consequences but because it is morally right.

If Steve were to allow Terry to use Bobby’s plan, it would ne morally wrong. This can be seen as stealing. Steve and Bobby need not have signed a contract, but Bobby invested his energy and time to come up with the most appropriate plan. It would be wrong for Terry, who suggested that his plan was ‘far from perfect’, to use the plan that Bobby had worked so hard for. By using Bobby’s proposal for his personal gain, it would be using ‘other humans as a means’, which goes against the Kantian deontology moral principle.

Terry wanting to use Bobby’s proposal also goes against this moral principle. Terry was given an opportunity to come up with his own proposal but failed to do so. It would be morally wrong to use Bobby’s plan to gratify his wishes. He should allow Bobby to continue with what he started and complete it. Steve was well aware that going for a big company will cost much more and it is therefore his moral duty not to back out of the plan. If not Terry should just come up with his own plan that he will utilize to get the same results. According to this moral principle it will be wrong for Steve and Terry to use Bobby’s proposal for their own good because the end just does not justify the means in this case.

Unlike the Kant’s deontology moral principle, the utilitarian moral theory dictates that the end justifies the means. Utilitarian moral theory on the other hand encourages taking an action that will bring the agent best of the consequences.  This moral theory suggests that before an action is either decided to be right or wrong the consequences of the actions should be evaluated. Some believe that preventing the desired results is wrong. An act is correct when it creates high-quality outcomes even if it was made for the incorrect motives. To make a decision on this principle one should ask whether the actions would bring about more harm or good. In this case study there can be several consequences. One if Terry decides to use the proposal that will mean that Steve will have positive consequences because he will get what he wants at a cheaper price. Secondly, Bobby will suffer bad consequences because he will have wasted his labor, energy and time only not to benefit from them.

Bobby depended on Steve’s honesty and therefore spent a lot of energy and time to come up with the best plan there is.  Bobby invested his time and took a business risk when he engaged in the formulation of the idea. He even entrusted the proposal to Steve. Breaking the trust that Bobby has in him will be a breach to this principle. The actions of Terry wanting to use the plan are morally wrong because it would be like stealing Bobby’s ideas. Bobby wanted to fulfill his desires by coming up with the best proposal there and he succeeded seeing that Steve was happy with the results.  Stealing his ideas will make Bobby not fulfill his desires and that will be morally wrong even if it brings about good consequences.

According to this moral principle it will be wrong to do something wrong even if has good results and end up hurting people. If Steve and Terry decided to use the perusal from Bobby, they would be hurting him and that would not be morally correct. The best thing to do is to agree on the best cause of action. If Bobby agrees to sell his proposal it will be fine, but they should not use it without his consent.




Kant I., (1785) “Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals”

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