a cat­e­gor­i­cal imper­a­tive, on the oth­er hand, denotes an absolute, uncon­di­tion­al require­ment that must be obeyed in all cir­cum­stances and is jus­ti­fied as an end in itself — alternatively:

act only accord­ing to that max­im where­by you can, at the same time, will that it should become a uni­ver­sal law.

Immanuel Kant


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