From: "Stuart Elden" <stuart.elden@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2000 07:18:14 -0000
Deontology is derived from the Greek 'deon', roughly obligatory, or duty.
Ontology is derived from the Greek 'on', from 'eisia' - being.
As has been hinted, for Kant, ontic formulations cannot suffice to provide
the framework for deontological moral reasoning. Only ontology can. The
question "are synthetic a priori judgements possible?" allows the
categorical imperative to stand. Of course, since Nietzsche, and as this is
a Foucault list, we should be asking "why are they necessary?" Heidegger's
Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics is invaluable here, both for its own
merit and to see how it influenced Foucault.
I replied - briefly - to Greg's mail in the hope of clarifying things. It
seems, because deontology was misunderstood, that the original point has
been lost. It's essentially - i think - an argument between utilitarianism
and Kantian (maybe today Rawlsian) morality. But then came Nietzsche, and it
seems to me that neither side take account of the questions he asks
adequately. (Neither does he, but that doesn't invalidate the questions).