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categorical imperative
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categorical imperative


Kant agreed that his categorical imperative would require one, if asked, to  tell a known murderer the location of his prey.
  the moral principle that behavior should be determined by duty (Immanuel Kant)
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Notes:
An important term introduced into the realm of ethics and moral philosophy by the German thinker Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). As he himself put it, "Act only according to a maxim by which you can at the same time will that it shall become a general law." In other words, "act only in such a way that you would want all men to act." Kant’s categorical imperative is not far from Jesus’ Golden Rule or some of the teachings of Confucius which demand that one’s actions are guarded and selfless.

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Samples:
  • Kant agreed that his categorical imperative would require one, if asked, to  tell a known murderer the location of his prey.
  • All the air of the fourteenth floor was sibilant with the categorical imperative.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • Kant formulates the moral law as a categorical imperative.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • Macalister reminded him of the Categorical Imperative.
    W. Somerset Maugham  --  Of Human Bondage

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  • Well, what is your objection to the Categorical Imperative?
    W. Somerset Maugham  --  Of Human Bondage
  • Kant formulates this ’categorical imperative’ in several ways.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • Kant also formulates the ’categorical imperative’ in this way: Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
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Associated words [difficulty]:   categorical imperative [8] , empiricism [5] , humanism [5] , rationalism [5] , pantheism [7]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Philosophy, Logic & Reasoning, Religion & Spirtuality, Public Policy & Politics, Religion - Christianity
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