categorical imperative

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n categorical imperative the moral principle that behavior should be determined by duty
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Categorical imperative in the ethics of Kant, the absolute unconditional command of the moral law, irrespective of every ulterior end or aim—universally authoritative, belonging to the fixed law of nature—'Act from a maxim at all times fit for law universal.'
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. katēgoria, katēgoros, an accuser, kata, down, against, agora, assembly.

Usage

In literature:

Should not Right Reason be our categorical imperative?
"Bushido, the Soul of Japan" by Inazo Nitobé
When pregnancy comes to such a wife, the old seclusion taboos fall upon her like a categorical imperative.
"Taboo and Genetics" by Melvin Moses Knight, Iva Lowther Peters, and Phyllis Mary Blanchard
The truth seems to be that Nature presents to us not a categorical imperative, but a choice.
"Outspoken Essays" by William Ralph Inge
This is what Kant really means by the categorical imperative.
"Edward Caldwell Moore" by Edward Moore
The absolutism of the Categorical Imperative is a subjective one, bounded by ourselves, formed of our substance.
"Preaching and Paganism" by Albert Parker Fitch
This effeminate categorical imperative of etiquette has not influenced them greatly as yet.
"Germany and the Germans" by Price Collier
The categorical imperatives: You shall!
"Mother Earth, Vol. 1 No. 2, April 1906" by Various
He was a living 'categorical imperative.
"The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I." by Sir Leslie Stephen
That was the Categorical Imperative, and Cecilia believed in it.
"Cecilia" by F. Marion Crawford
And the philosopher of the 'categorical imperative' miscarries as instructively as does the soldier of divine will.
"Rationalism" by John Mackinnon Robertson
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In news:

This moral reasoning may not sway the police officer writing me a ticket, but it would pass the test of Kant 's categorical imperative: I think all cyclists could — and should — ride like me.
It is imperative in our dealings with humans who are categorized as "others" that we figure out ways to respect differences.
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