categorical imperative

noun

Definition of categorical imperative

: a moral obligation or command that is unconditionally and universally binding

Examples of categorical imperative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Kant introduced the world to the theory of the categorical imperative; Larry, the chat-and-cut. Meredith Blake, latimes.com, "'Curb Your Enthusiasm' is back and so is Larry David, TV's greatest philosopher," 29 Sep. 2017 Kant introduced the world to the theory of the categorical imperative Meredith Blake, latimes.com, "'Curb Your Enthusiasm' is back and so is Larry David, TV's greatest philosopher," 29 Sep. 2017 The Golden Rule, the categorical imperative — all of these moral notions will fall by the wayside. Ben Shapiro, National Review, "College Students vs. Free Speech," 20 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'categorical imperative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of categorical imperative

1827, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for categorical imperative

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The first known use of categorical imperative was in 1827

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Cite this Entry

“Categorical imperative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/categorical%20imperative. Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on categorical imperative

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about categorical imperative

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