Der Status unvollkommener Pflichten in Kants Theorie des Gewissens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


How does conscience react to violations of imperfect duty in Kant’s mature ethical theory? On the one hand, conscience is given the role of relating an abstract moral law to an agent’s self, and this clearly encompasses perfect and imperfect duty alike. On the other hand, Kant sees conscience as an internal court that condemns and acquits (but does not reward); and there are concrete passages, such as the famous example of the Grand Inquisitor in the 1793 Religion, that similarly indicate that conscience speaks up only if strict or maybe juridical duties have been or are about to be violated. In this article, I discuss five prima facie plausible solutions to this puzzle. I conclude that conscience can prohibit non-compliance with imperfect duty if it is an expression of a culpable flaw at the level of the agent’s underlying maxim.
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationKasuistik und Theorie des Gewissens
Subtitle of host publicationVon Pascal bis Kant
Place of PublicationBerlin and Boston
Publisherde Gruyter
ISBN (Print)978-3-11-062185-3
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

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