This is incipient, if not fully articulate, in Mill’s formulation of the Principle of Utility, which he regards as the fundamental moral principle: “The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.”. But this possibility of treating normative properties other than rightness teleologically entails that the proper contrast to teleological ethics is not deontological ethics; rather, deontological ethics refers to accounts of right action and therefore is best thought of as a subset of non-teleological accounts. This classification outlined above, while common enough, is a bit misleading for the relation between the theory of the right and the theory of value is not quite as straightforward as might initially be thought. Teleological and Deontological ethical theories, Problems with the Teleological / Deontological Classification, Art, Music, Literature, Sports and leisure, New World Encyclopedia:Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0,, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License. A trait such as courage, for example, is a virtue because of a person with courage makes everyone happier. states of character, and normative properties in general. Cybernetics: the study of mechanical systems with built in goals, e.g. The goodness of the intention then reflects the balance of the good and evil of these consequences, with no limits imposed upon it by the nature of the act itself—even if it be, say, the breaking of a promise or the execution of an innocent man. And this coheres quite nicely with what Utilitarians (Mill for example)have said about virtue as opposed to right action. In shorthand, th… Another advantage of [Def 2: TM] is that it also enables us to understand Aristotle’s theory as teleological in a similar way. This is either a teleological connection or a not a teleological connection. One standard way of drawing the teleological/deontological distinction is in terms of how moral theories specify the relation between the two central concepts of ethics: the good and the right. The chief problem for eudaemonist theories is to show that leading a life of virtue will also be attended by happiness—by the winning of the goods regarded as the chief end of action. This makes it reasonable to regard Aristotle’s theory as a teleological moral theory; and much the same applies to the other Greek moral philosophers (see the article on eudaimonia). There are, it is said, two possible ways in which the theory of value may connect up with the theory of right action. This article began as an original work prepared for New World Encyclopedia and is provided to the public according to the terms of the New World Encyclopedia:Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Finally, we should note another implication of the adoption of [Def 2: TM] as the criterion of distinction for teleological theories. (Pleasure, for the Classical Utilitarian, is the good.) Eudaemonists generally reply that the universe is moral and that, in Socrates’ words, “No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death,” or, in Jesus’ words, “But he who endures to the end will be saved.”, Utilitarian theories, on the other hand, must answer the charge that ends do not justify the means. This is consistent with the spirit of normative ethics since it is not exclusively concerned with the rightness of actions, but is also interested in understanding and explaining properties such as "virtuous," "praiseworthy," and "blameworthy."