categorical imperative

noun
1.
Ethics. the rule of Immanuel Kant that one must do only what one can will that all others should do under similar circumstances.
2.
the unconditional command of conscience.

Origin:
1820–30

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To categorical imperative
Collins
World English Dictionary
categorical imperative
 
n
Compare hypothetical imperative (in the ethics of Kant) the unconditional moral principle that one's behaviour should accord with universalizable maxims which respect persons as ends in themselves; the obligation to do one's duty for its own sake and not in pursuit of further ends

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The categorical imperative, the formula of the moral law for humans, is a stance of self-judgment.
There is, therefore, only one categorical imperative.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;