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  Having to do with what is right in a moral sense. Thus a deontological theory of ethics or social justice will be concerned with the right conduct, with something right in itself rather than with design or purpose in the pursuit of some ultimate good (cf. teleology). The emphasis is on individual duty, like telling the truth, keeping promises or acting justly. Critics point out that doing the right thing can sometimes have bad consequences: telling the truth may not always be the best thing to do, and the Holocaust was perpetrated by people who thought they were doing their duty. (DMS)  



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