- 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
First recorded in 1820–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- (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 endsCompare hypothetical imperative
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