A term derived from the Greek word deon meaning 'duty'.

'Deontic' is used in Ethical Theory to describe any moral theory which holds that moral obligation or duty is central to a moral theory. As such, this term can be properly applied to Consequentialism and Deontological theories as both emphasize a set of obligations (although they differ as to what our obligations are, and where they come from). This term would not, however, be properly applied to Virtue theories which hold character rather than moral obligation to be the center of a moral theory.