Kantianism (or Deontology)

Rather than consequences, Kant, the major proponent of deontology, argues that a morally right act, is one that respects persons and expresses a “universalizable” rule, that is, a rule that each of us would want and think all persons should follow. The reason Kant thinks that persons are deserving of respect is because persons are rational and capable of being self-determining (autonomous). Persons can choose how to act, can choose the reasons on which to base their actions, rather than acting just on impulse, instinct, or desire. Therefore, morality should embody a principle of respect for persons as capable of exercising their own will and reason. Thus, the basis for morality is not so much a desirable outcome, but an underlying principle of respect.