Introduction to PhilosophyNotesThis is not a substitute for coming to class Richard Lee
Philosophy 2003 C 001Copyright © 1999, Richard Lee Spring 1999
 

Perfect and Imperfect Duties
Kant

Perfect Duties

Kant also calls these "strict or rigorous (inflexible)" duties (P 428b).

These are duties, such as the duty not to commit suicide and the duty not to make a lying promise, which admit of no exceptions. (It is not okay to make lying promises as long as you don't do it much.)

Imperfect Duties

Kant also calls these "laxer (meritorious)" duties (P 428b).

These are duties, such as the duty to help people in need, which do admit of exceptions. They are still duties, but you have some choice about how to fulfill them. (You donít have to give all your money to every charity; your inclinations can enter into which charities you choose to give to.)


Richard Lee, rlee@comp.uark.edu, last modified: 3 March 1999