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Part I Theoretical Foundations, Ch.5 The Psychological Foundations of Human Rights

Robin Bradley Kar

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Human Rights Law

Edited By: Dinah Shelton

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 21 October 2020

Subject(s):
Citizenship — Freedom from slavery or forced labour — Freedom of expression — Right to liberty and security of person — Development, right to

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.

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