Ultimate, absolute, categorical, despite great differences in implications, mean in common so fundamental as to represent the extreme limit of actual or possible knowledge.
Something ultimate represents the utmost limit attained or attainable either by analysis or by synthesis.
Something absolute (see also PURE 1 ) ( ABSOLUTE 2 ) has the character of being above all imperfection because it is not derived but original, not partial but complete, not subject to qualification because unlimited, and not dependent on anything else because self-sufficient.
What is absolute has, as a rule, ideal existence and implies an opposite in actuality lacking the marks of absoluteness.
Something categorical (see also EXPLICIT ) is so fundamental that human reason cannot go beyond it in a search for generality or universality and has therefore an affirmative, undeniable character; thus, the categorical concepts or the categories as they are often called, are the few concepts (as quantity, quality, and relation) to which all human knowledge can be reduced, inasmuch as no more general conceptions can be found to include them.