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(in Kantian ethics) an unconditional moral obligation which is binding in all circumstances and is not dependent on a person's inclination or purpose.
- ‘Kant gives at least four versions of the categorical imperative, but one is especially direct: Treat people as an end, and never as a means to an end.’
- ‘Though the advantages resulting from obedience to particular moral laws can be shown, the moral obligation itself is a categorical imperative, something that we feel but cannot explain.’
- ‘Adorno even conceives of categorical imperatives in exactly the way Kant conceives of them, and they are connected to metaphysics, rather than epistemology, again as they are for Kant.’
- ‘People know what is right and submit to a Kantian categorical imperative - you have to do what you know is right.’
- ‘Since only free action can have genuine moral worth, the categorical imperative must be not only the supreme imperative of reason, but also the supreme law of morality.’
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