categorical imperative(redirected from categorical imperatives)
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In the philosophical system of Immanuel Kant, the requirement on any moral law that it apply unconditionally and equally to all rational beings.
(Philosophy) (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
the rule of Immanuel Kant that one's actions should be capable of serving as the basis of universal law.