In this paper we try to perform a thermodynamic analysis of the temperature-induced transition from the molten globule to the unfolded state of globular proteins. A series of calorimetric investigations showed that this process is not associated with an excess heat capacity absorption peak, and cannot be regarded as a first-order phase transition. This result contrasts with the well-established conclusion that the thermal unfolding of the native tertiary structure of globular proteins is a first-order phase transition. First, the theoretical approach developed by Ikegami is outlined to emphasize that a second-order or gradual transition induced by temperature is expected for globular proteins when the various secondary structure elements do not interact cooperatively. Secondly, a simple thermodynamic model is presented which, taking into account the independence of the secondary structure elements among each other, is able to rationalize the shape of the experimental DSC profiles.