- Perfect Duties are mostly described as ‘negative duties’ – i.e ‘do not x’, ‘do not y’, ‘do not steal’, ‘do not lie’.
- Imperfect Duties are described as A duty that one needs to do. There are 2 imperfect duties:
- Duty of self-improvement.
- Duty to aid others.
- Perfect duties are considered more important than imperfect duties to Kant. For example the decision between ‘Do not steal a bomb’ and ‘Aid others’, ‘Do not steal the bomb’ would be the correct choice, to Kant, as the perfect duty is of more importance.
- A priori (knowledge through reason) – These are analytic statements, true in themselves/by definition. ‘All bachelors are unmarried’ this is therefore true by definition as the word bachelor is defined as ‘a man who is not and has never been married.’
- A posteriori (Knowledge through experience) – Synthetic statements, they may or may not be true. ‘All bachelor’s are happy’, there is no way of verifying this without asking all bachelors, the statement isn’t true by itself.
- Kant however, strayed from this common description of synthetic and analytic statements. He argued for the existence of synthetic a priori statements, which provide new information that is necessarily true. For example in maths a triangle’s definition (‘a plane figure with three straight sides and three angles.’) doesn’t actually contain the fact that all triangle’s angles add to 180 degrees, however every triangle’s must. This is therefore a synthetic a priori statement as it isn’t solely true in itself through definition, but is always true through experience – thus combining 2 aspects of both synthetic and analytic statements.