categorical imperative

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categorical imperative

n.
In the philosophical system of Immanuel Kant, the requirement on any moral law that it apply unconditionally and equally to all rational beings.

categorical imperative

n
(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

categor′ical imper′ative


n.
the rule of Immanuel Kant that one's actions should be capable of serving as the basis of universal law.
[1820–30]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.categorical imperative - the moral principle that behavior should be determined by duty
moral principle - the principle that conduct should be moral
References in classic literature ?
Neither did Kant when he devised the Categorical Imperative.
Categorical imperatives are ethical rules that can be justified as, in the words of Immanuel Kant (1997, p.
When I founded The Journal Jurisprudence many years ago, I thought the field was suffering without clear categorical imperatives and structure.
Since instrumentalism is the position that holds that hypothetical imperatives can by themselves and without the aid of categorical imperatives explain all valid forms of practical reasoning, the influential idea amounts to a rejection of instrumentalism as internally incoherent.
What is so odd in Finkelstein and those like him is that the universalism and humanism at the heart of the left's view of itself has evaporated, to be replaced by categorical imperatives usually associated with the extreme right: blood; honor; solidarity; and the defense of near-hallowed land.
For him, it was essential that morality yield categorical imperatives, not simply instrumental hypothetical imperatives that bind only once one chooses to pursue some more or less arbitrary end.
15) See Philippa Foot, "Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives," in her Virtues and Vices (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978), wherein she challenges the Kantian notion that categorical imperatives are absolutely binding.
This text contains a clear presentation of the hypothetical and categorical imperatives in Kant.
Even Kant held that categorical imperatives required more philosophical explanation than hypothetical imperatives, rather than less.