Digest of terms

categorical imperative

the term coined by Kant to describe the sense of moral 'ought' which is at the root of universal moral law. It affirms the obligation on all humans never to treat another person as a means, but always as an end in themselves. It has the simple check that any specific actions should be universifiable and without hurt in consequence to oneself or another. It presupposes the capacity to exercise free will and a shared human condition of natural reason, and as such is open to challenge. It remains a core component of moral education.

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