Personhood as a Political Theory of Duties

  • Motsamai MolefeEmail author


The relationship between the idea of personhood and rights is explored by Molefe in this chapter. The aim of this exploration is to investigate whether rights will feature incidentally or significantly in a correct understanding of personhood. Molefe complicates our understanding of the implications of rights and argues that the idea of personhood imagines an alternative moral-political vision built on the primacy of duties. To do so, he draws on Menkiti’s distinction between the minimalist and maximalist conceptions of personhood, attempting to show the political consequences of these two distinct concepts. He concludes that rights hang on the minimalist approach and duties on the maximalist one.


Duties Maximalist conception of personhood Minimalist conception of rights Menkiti Natural rights Rights 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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