Religion Past and Present

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(511 words)

[German Version]

I. Philosophy – II. Ethics

I. Philosophy

The term originated in the expression propositio maxima, the designation of the major premise in a syllogism. It can denote an axiom or a practical principle. It attained relevance in I. Kant's moral philosophy. Kant describes any subjective motivation to initiate an action as a maxim, in contrast to the objectively valid, general law (Law and legislation). The categorical imperative requires that only those maxims be allowed which can also count as laws (Grundlegung zur Met…

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Steinmann, Michael and Herms, Eilert, “Maxim”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 14 April 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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