Catholic Dictionary

Term

CONDITIONAL MORALITY

Definition

A system of morality based on Immanuel Kant's principle of the hypothetical imperative, namely: "If you desire this or that, you must (should or ought to) do such and such." In these cases, the obligation enjoined depends on a person's having the desire in question. From a Catholic perspective, there is an obligation prior to the hypothesis, i.e., making sure that a given desire is itself conformed to the divine law.