According to one reading of Kant,
- If A is an obligatory action, one maximizes the praiseworthiness of the action when one does A solely out of duty.[note 1]
To see that (1) is false, note that it is better to do a supererogatory action because it goes over and beyond duty than it is to do an obligatory action because it is in accord with duty. Now suppose I do something good for my friend solely out of duty. If I am acting solely out of duty, then the following counterfactually will typically be true:
- If A were not (or maybe: not seen as) a duty, then one would not have done it.
- If A were not a duty, then one would still have done it on account of its then being supererogatory.
- A's being either a duty or supererogatory.
- A's being a benefit to one's friend and not a violation of any duty. out of sole motive of duty.
- A's being a duty