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categorical imperative

Ethics. the rule of Immanuel Kant that one must do only what one can will that all others should do under similar circumstances.
the unconditional command of conscience.
Origin of categorical imperative
1820-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for categorical imperative
  • The categorical imperative, the formula of the moral law for humans, is a stance of self-judgment.
  • There is, therefore, only one categorical imperative.
British Dictionary definitions for categorical imperative

categorical 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 Compare hypothetical imperative
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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