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date: 29 May 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the role of psychology in the historical foundation of human rights. It provides an account of the psychological capacities that humans use to identify and respond to rights and analyses the distinctive ways that humans reason about rights. It also discusses the basic psychology of rights and obligations and considers the place of the psychology of rights and obligations in a contemporary evolutionary framework. This article argues that while humans have an innate psychological capacity to identify and respond to rights, the more specific phenomenon of respect for human rights is at least in part a culturally emergent phenomenon.

Keywords: human rights, psychology, psychological capacities, psychology of rights, obligations, culturally emergent phenomenon

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