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"Duty" by Edmund Leighton

Duty (from "due" meaning "that which is owing"; Old French: deu, did{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, past participle of devoir; Latin: debere, debitum{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, whence "debt") is a term that conveys a sense of moral commitment or obligation to someone or something. The moral commitment should result in action;{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} it is not a matter of passive feeling or mere recognition. When someone recognizes a duty, that person theoretically commits themself to its fulfillment without considering their own self-interest. This is not to suggest that living a life of duty entirely precludes a life of leisure; however, its fulfillment generally involves some sacrifice of immediate self-interest. Typically, "the demands of justice, honor, and reputation are deeply bound up" with duty.<ref>http://www.pvv.ntnu.no/~leirbakk/rpg/mythus/mythus_samurai.html</ref>

Cicero, an early philosopher who discusses duty in his work “On Duty", suggests that duties can come from four different sources:<ref>Cicero, Marcus T. De Officiis. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1913. Print.</ref>

  1. as result of being human
  2. as a result of one's particular place in life (one's family, one's country, one's job)
  3. as a result of one's character
  4. as a result of one's own moral expectations for oneself

Various derivative uses of the word have sprung from the root idea of obligation, a concept involved in the notion of duty; thus it is used in the services performed by a minister of a church, by a soldier, or by any employee or servant.

Many schools of thought have debated the idea of duty. While many assert mankind's duty on their own terms, some philosophers have absolutely rejected a sense of duty.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}

Duty has to be accepted and understood on the basis of one's foundation of sense and knowledge. Therefore, duty and its manifestations vary with values from culture to culture. On one hand duty may be seen as terms of reference, job description, or behavior - and it is all of that ... but duty is not only about doing things right, it is about doing the right thing.


Duty sections
Intro  Civic duty  Filial duty  Duty in various cultures   Criticisms of the concept of duty   See also  References  External links  

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