Duty (from “due” meaning “that which is owing”; Old French: deu, did, past participle of devoir; Latin: debere, debitum, 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; 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 fulfilment generally involves some sacrifice of immediate self-interest. Typically, “the demands of justice, honor, and reputation are deeply bound up” with duty.
Cicero, an early philosopher who discusses duty in his work “On Duty”, suggests that duties can come from four different sources:
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…