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Generally, any simple and memorable rule or guide for living: neither a borrower nor a lender be, etc. Tennyson speaks of ‘a little hoard of maxims preaching down a daughter's heart’ (Locksley Hall), and maxims have generally been associated with a ‘folksy’ or ‘copy-book’ approach to morality. In the usage of Kant, each action proceeds according to a maxim or subjective principle in accordance with which it is performed. The first form of the categorical imperative asserts that one can tell whether an action is right by seeing whether its maxim can consistently be willed to be universal law.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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