Duties and Rights

Fathali M. Moghaddam, Cristina Novoa and Zachary Warren

in The Oxford Handbook of Culture and Psychology

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195396430
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Duties and Rights

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Evidence for relativistic theories of rights and duties is overturned by an analysis of supererogatory acts in Afghan, Asian, and Spanish-speaking cultures. The authors present a cultural evolutionary account of the development of rights and duties to explain the appearance of certain universals in the domain of justice. An order of evolution is proposed: from functional origin in primitive social relations, to informal labeling as “rights” and “duties,” to formalization in black-letter law. The authors recommend two future directions of research: an investigation of the cycle of rights and duties as understood in different political and cultural contexts, and a closer analysis of universal duties, beyond human rights alone.

Keywords: rights and duties; supererogation; cultural evolution; primitive social relations; universals; family rights and duties; religious systems; normative justice; cycle of rights and duties; afghan culture; latino and spanish cultures; asian cultures

Article.  13437 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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