"Kant’s categorical imperative has clung to our heels so firmly as our inseparable companion that we cannot get rid of him"

   German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) laid out the founding principles of his moral philosophy in his first treatise devoted to the subject.  The so-called ‘categorical imperative’ was his attempt to formulate one incontrovertible rule by which to determine the ethical course of action in any situation:

“I am never to act otherwise than so that I could also will that my maxim should become a universal law”. 

 

Online edition of Immanuel Kant’s ‘Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals’, (1785)