categorical imperative


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Related to categorical imperative: hypothetical imperative, utilitarianism

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. You have thrown aside a creed, but you have preserved the ethic which was based upon it.
I would like to point out that this Kantian categorical imperative is highly practical.
According to the view presented in this essay, Kant's universal freedom of action is grounded in the idea, that every human being should be given a legally recognized area of protection that offers him or her the opportunity to fulfill the moral responsibilities of the categorical imperative in the empirical-social world, i.e.
It appears that the answer to the undermined position of ethical subject is the introduction to another kind of imperative fiction, that which involves the story of Eternal Recurrence, in which in turn elements referring to Kantian categorical imperative are identified: "What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence ...
The libertarian nonaggression principle is but one implication of the undeniable categorical imperative that proper ways to resolve disputes ought to be determined by argumentation or argumentatively validated methods among the parties to a dispute.
In ethics, Balzac's fiction charts in France a middle course between rationalism and utilitarianism, whereas in Germany and England Kant's categorical imperative exerts influence.
Some of the most famous philosophical moral systems--the utilitarian ethic of maximizing pleasure while minimizing pain, for example, or the Kantian categorical imperative's emphasis on only performing actions that you could will everyone to perform--have no place in war.
The chapters cover the categorical imperative and the moral law, the relationship between reason and the will, and how the "highest good" requires God, the immortality of the soul, and the freedom of the will.
After tracing the GR to the Presocratics, Confucius, Mozi, Aristotle, and Seneca, he fast-forwards to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, particularly Kant's categorical imperative. For the recent past and present, he mentions British philosopher Richard Mervyn Hare; the Germans, Wilhelm Kamlah and Hans Jonas; and the Americans, Marcus George Singer and Amital Etzioni.
By drawing upon sources such as Kant's lecture notes during the period of these deferrals, Kuehn shows how Kant's later work is offering new perspectives on notions as basic as the categorical imperative. For instance, Kant's discussion of "ends that are also duties" was presumably intended to amplify the merely "negative principle" that the categorical imperative represented in the Groundwork and Critique of Practical Reason.