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duty, in taxation: see tariff; excise taxes.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a category of ethics that expresses the moral task of a particular individual, group of individuals, class, or people under specific social conditions and situations, a task that for them becomes an internally acceptable obligation. In this respect duty differs from the more abstract concept of what is due or fitting, which encompasses all the demands made on people in the form of norms.

In the history of mankind’s moral consciousness, duty has been interpreted in different ways, according to social or class conceptions of man’s obligations at a particular period in history; it has always been connected with specific problems of a time and of a given society. The concept of duty has included the fulfillment of the “simplest rules of the community of man,” which had been developed in the course of history. The problem of the nature of duty has always given rise to disagreement among the various schools and trends of philosophical ethics. The foundations of duty have been connected with the interpretation of moral necessity—the fulfillment of divine commands, cosmic or supernatural laws, official or unofficial social precepts, or self-realization of the internal potential of the personality.

In Marxist ethics, moral duty is regarded as the concretization of general requirements of morality, which have a historical origin and which pertain to existing circumstances, conditions, and a person’s abilities and potentials. These requirements determine the conditions and degree of his responsibility and constitute his motives and conscience. Thus, duty expresses the moral specifics of the socio-ideological position of personality with respect to the existing social situation and to the conflict and disposition of class forces, as well as the moral specifics of internal convictions and the means of their realization.


Marx, K., and F. Engels. “Nemetskaia ideologiia.” Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 3, pp. 235-36.
Lenin, V. I. “Gosudarstvo i revoliutsiia.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 33, chap. 5.
Lenin, V. I. “Zadachi soiuzov molodezhi.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 41.
Arkhangel’skii, L. M. Kategorii marksistskoi etiki. Moscow, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about duty?

To feel bound by duty in a dream may be a reflection of the dreamer’s past experiences in the military. If, however, the dreamer is overly concerned with duty in their dreams, perhaps compulsive behavior or control issues are posing problems.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


1. a government tax, esp on imports
2. Brit
a. the quantity or intensity of work for which a machine is designed
b. a measure of the efficiency of a machine
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
London Ambulance Service was called and when paramedics arrived they found the off duty nurses already giving CPR
"However, we expect the highest standards from everyone employed by Northumbria Police, both on and off-duty, and in this instance the officer involved has received advice about his behaviour when off duty."
Indeed, we are a more effective and a more disciplined force when we live by the high standard of always on duty or never off duty. You choose and use the term that best resonates with you.
GSOC was set up to probe all complaints made against gardai relating to their conduct on and off duty.
Underneath the picture they wrote: "Sneak photo of our crime fighters cunningly disguised as zebra & monkey - we may be off duty but justice never rests."
The off duty police officer only graduated from police academy two months ago.
"I was off duty, but felt it was my duty to stop him from subjecting people's lives and properties to danger," Mr Mass'ad said in an interview put out by the Interior Ministry media centre.
Off duty employment cannot be performed in a permissive temporary duty status, or while on pass or compensatory time for overtime previously worked; regular leave may be used if this does not adversely impact the military mission.
while the commando has been off duty here on Wednesday.
"You displayed a remarkable dedication to serve and protect while off duty, exposing yourself to possible serious injury in apprehending an individual you had reason to believe was armed with a weapon," the commendation reads.
Mr STUART Melia of Prestatyn assures us that service personnel never wear their uniforms except when on duty, or going on or off duty.
10 officers from Gwent Police have been prosecuted for speeding offences committed off duty. A further two cases are also being investigated by the force; and