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Hypothetical imperative

A hypothetical imperative, in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, is a command that applies only conditionally: if A, then B, where A is a condition or goal, and B is an action. For example, if you wish to remain healthy, then you should not eat spoiled food. Thus, a hypothetical imperative is not justified in itself, but as a means to an end; whether it is in force as a command depends on whether the end it helps attain is desired (or required). The opposite of a hypothetical imperative is a categorical imperative, which is unconditional and an end in itself.



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