‘An Illusion of Affability that Inspires Love’: Kant on the Value and Disvalue of Politeness
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Chapter in The Philosophy of (Im)politeness, ed. Chaoqun Xie.
BOOK DESCRIPTION: Covers the social, normative, emotional, and moral dimensions of (im)politeness from a philosophical perspective Contributes to current hot topics and key issues within (im)politeness studies Advances human understanding of (im)politeness as essential to sociality, interaction, and existence
CHAPTER DESCRIPTION: During the Enlightenment a wide variety of views about both the value and disvalue of politeness were defended. At one end of the spectrum were authors such as Shaftesbury and Addison, who uniformly praised politeness for its positive contributions to communication and cultural progress. At the other end were theorists such as Rousseau and Montesquieu, both of whom were deeply critical of politeness. In this essay I focus on Kant’s views about politeness, examining and evaluating his arguments both for and against it. Although Kant’s position on politeness lies somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of Enlightenment views about progress, ultimately he sees more value than disvalue in it. There is something in politeness that “inspires love.”
"Kant Politeness, Duties of virtue, Shaftesbury, Addison, Rousseau, Montesquieu
Louden, Robert B. PhD, "‘An Illusion of Affability that Inspires Love’: Kant on the Value and Disvalue of Politeness" (2021). Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Books. 645.