Kant and the Duty to Act from Duty

History of Philosophy Quarterly 39 (1):59-75 (2022)
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Abstract

Several interpreters argue that Kant believes we have a duty to act “from duty.” If there is such a duty, however, then Kant's moral theory faces a serious problem, namely that of an allegedly vicious infinite regress of duties. No serious attempt has been made to determine how Kant might respond to this problem and insufficient work has been done to determine whether he even believes we have a duty to act from duty. In this paper I argue that not only does Kant not hold that there is a duty to act from duty, but he also explicitly rejects the idea.

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Michael Walschots
Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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