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Categorical imperative   /kˌætəgˈɑrɪkəl ɪmpˈɛrətɪv/   Listen
Categorical imperative

The moral principle that behavior should be determined by duty.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Categorical imperative" Quotes from Famous Books

... ends with the doctrine that man is the supreme being for mankind, and therefore with the categorical imperative to overthrow all conditions in which man is a degraded, servile, neglected, contemptible being, conditions which cannot be better described than by the exclamation of a Frenchman on the occasion of a projected dog tax: "Poor dogs; they want ...
— Selected Essays • Karl Marx

... of his feelings, and could not but be continuously conscious that we were under the eye of a father governed by the loftiest and purest motives, and devoting himself without stint to what he regarded as his duty. He was a living 'categorical imperative.' 'Did you ever know your father do a thing because it was pleasant?' was a question put to my brother, when he was a small boy, by his mother. She has apparently recorded it for the sake of the childish answer: 'Yes, once—when he married you.' But we were always ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

Words linked to "Categorical imperative" :   moral principle

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