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Appears in Collections:Law and Philosophy Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Perfect and Imperfect Duty: Unpacking Kant's Complex Distinction
Author(s): Hope, Simon James
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Keywords: perfect duty
imperfect duty
Issue Date: Mar-2023
Date Deposited: 15-Jan-2024
Citation: Hope SJ (2023) Perfect and Imperfect Duty: Unpacking Kant's Complex Distinction. <i>Kantian Review</i>, 28 (1), pp. 63-80.
Abstract: I attempt first to disentangle three aspects of Kant’s distinction between perfect and imperfect duty. There is the central distinction between principles of duty contrary to that which is contradictory in conception/consistent in conception but contradictory in will. There is also a distinction between essential and non-essential duties: those which cannot, or occasionally can, be passed over consistent with the requirements of morality. Finally, there is a distinction between duties that exhibit a scalar aspect – degrees of goodness or virtue – and duties that do not. My aim is to show how these distinct considerations can be reconciled as aspects of a single distinction, and I conclude that the remarkable complexity of Kant’s perfect/imperfect distinction is actually a strength, rather than a weakness.
DOI Link: 10.1017/S1369415422000528
Rights: This article has been published in a revised form in Kantian Review This version is published under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND. No commercial re-distribution or re-use allowed. Derivative works cannot be distributed. © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Kantian Review.
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