hypothetical imperative

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hypothetical imperative

KANT's term for advice about action which has the form ‘if you wish to achieve X, do Y’. Such advice, based on empirical evidence, is not binding, but optional. Thus it lacks the force of a categorical imperative, Kant's term for any moral injunction which can be held to possess a universal force. The basis of such categorical imperatives (e.g. ‘thou shall not kill’) is to ‘act only on the maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law’.
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