Can Kant tell us what to do? Intentions, dilemmas, and the long journey towards moral perfection


The “received view” on Kantian ethics holds that perfect duties enjoy absolute priority over imperfect duties. More recently, several Kantian scholars have reassessed this situation, arguing that imperfect duties may remain binding even if they imply breaching a perfect duty. In this article, I argue that both positions rely on a misunderstanding of the bindingness of Kantian duties. Genuine Kantian duties, I claim, remain binding even when they cannot be fulfilled. We must always strive for a total completion of our duties; what it means for us to strive for it, however, will vary depending on our peculiar situation.


Palabras clave

ethics; dilemmas; prima facie duties; perfect and imperfect duties

Texto completo:



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Revista de Estudios Kantianos. Publicación internacional de la SEKLE. 

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