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

Show Summary Details


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

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.