In Defense of Deontology and Kant: A Reply to van Staveren

Review of Political Economy, 2009

13 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2008

See all articles by Mark D. White

Mark D. White

CUNY College of Staten Island

Date Written: September 10, 2007


In this note, I respond to a recent article by Irene van Staveren (2007), in which she presents a case for virtue ethics, rather than deontology or consequentialism, as the most appropriate ethical foundation for ethics. Rather than taking issue with her positive arguments for virtue ethics, I argue in defense of deontology - or, more specifically, the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant. I argue that, when properly understood, Kantian ethics should not be associated solely with formal rules and obligation, but that Kant's moral system can accommodate many of the concerns of virtue ethics, such as social relations, real-world context, and human fallibility, as well as embodying a unique emphasis on human dignity and judgment.

Suggested Citation

White, Mark D., In Defense of Deontology and Kant: A Reply to van Staveren (September 10, 2007). Review of Political Economy, 2009, Available at SSRN:

Mark D. White (Contact Author)

CUNY College of Staten Island ( email )

Staten Island, NY
United States

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