- Table of National Cases
- Table of Treaties, Declarations, and Other International Instruments
- Table of Abbreviations
- Notes on the Contributors
- Moral Philosophy
- Biological Foundations of Human Rights
- Sociology of Human Rights
- The Psychological Foundations of Human Rights
- Anthropology and the Grounds of Human Rights
- The Foundations of Justice and Human Rights in Early Legal Texts and Thought
- General Principles and Constitutions as Sources of Human Rights Law
- The Anti-Slavery Movement and the Rise of International Non-Governmental Organizations
- Diplomatic Protection as a Source of Human Rights Law
- Humanitarian Law as a Source of Human Rights Law
- Social Justice, Rights, and Labour
- The Protection of Minorities under the Auspices of the League of Nations
- Human Dignity
- Democracy and the Rule of Law
- The Law-Making Process: From Declaration to Treaty to Custom to Prevention
- Core Rights and Obligations
- Jus Cogens and Obligations Erga Omnes
- Positive and Negative Obligations
- From Commission to the Council: Evolution of UN Charter Bodies
- The Role and Impact of Treaty Bodies
- The Role of International Tribunals: Law-Making or Creative Interpretation?
- Universality and the Growth of Regional Systems
- National Implementation and Interpretation
- Roles and Responsibilities of Non-State Actors
- Interpretation of Human Rights Treaties
- Enforcing Human Rights Through Economic Sanctions
- Transnational Litigation: Jurisdiction and Immunities
- The Use of International Force to Prevent or Halt Atrocities: From Humanitarian Intervention to the Responsibility to Protect
- Trade Law and Investment Law
- Creating and Applying Human Rights Indicators
- What Outcomes for Victims?
- Human Rights Make a Difference: Lessons from Latin America
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.
Law, University of Illinois College of Law.
Robin Bradley Kar is a Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Illinois College of Law. He earned his bachelor of arts magna cum laude from Harvard University, his J.D. from Yale Law School, and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where he was a Rackham Merit Fellow, Rackham Predoctoral Fellow and Charlotte Newcombe Fellow. He is also a former law clerk to the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, now an Associate Justice for the U.S. Supreme Court. One of Professor Kar’s primary research interests is in moral psychology, where he has focused on identifying and describing the special psychological attitudes that animate moral and legal systems. To that end, he has developed a general account of the human sense of moral and legal obligation, which draws on recent advances in a number of cognate fields (including evolutionary game theory, sociology, psychology, anthropology, animal behavioral studies, and philosophy), and which provides a more fundamental challenge to economic assumptions about human action than is present in the behavioral economics literature. More recently, Professor Kar has been studying the conditions under which legal systems (including international legal systems) can emerge and remain stable as independent institutions, beginning from the simpler forms of social complexity that typically precede law. Professor Kar also has broad research interests in jurisprudence and moral and political philosophy and in those areas of the law that appear to reflect moral imperatives. His work in these areas proceeds from the conviction that many longstanding jurisprudential and normative questions can only be adequately addressed without a better understanding of moral psychology.
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