Citation Hope S (2014) Kantian Imperfect Duties and Modern Debates over Human Rights. Journal of Political Philosophy, 22 (4), pp. 396-415. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopp.12026
Abstract First paragraph: THE notion of an imperfect duty is a confused one in contemporary moral and political philosophy. This confusion is caused in part by a degree of talking past each other that often occurs when the perfect/imperfect distinction is invoked. Modern Kantians have offered understandings of imperfect duty that aim to remain faithful to Kant's own, and have deployed these within various debates: about the limits of human rights talk, for example, or about the nature of supererogation.1 But the distinction between perfect and imperfect duty has a significant and varied history prior, and subsequent, to Kant. Modern Kantians' philosophical interlocutors typically bring with them assumptions about imperfect duty that belong to non-Kantian ways of understanding the distinction, and it is too often assumed (by all sides) that everyone has the same understanding of imperfect duty in mind.
Journal Journal of Political Philosophy: Volume 22, Issue 4