Civility: Its Distinctness and Significance
Love, Christopher William
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Civility has many critics. Some challenge its distinctness as a virtue, others its moral significance. In this essay, I attempt to meet both challenges by offering an account of civility that stands distinct from other concepts and holds great value, both intrinsically and instrumentally. I claim that we show civility toward others when we dispute their ideas in ways that respect those persons' intrinsic worth. My account pays particular attention to the connections between civility, clarity and reconciliation--connections that make civility vital for modern pluralistic societies. I then consider a recent alternative to this conception of civility advanced by Calhoun (2000), arguing that it secures distinctness at the cost of moral significance.
- Masters Theses