THE USES OF EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY POLITENESS

Dublin Core

Title

THE USES OF EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY POLITENESS

Subject

Politeness in 18th-century society

Description

This excerpt from a journal article introduces the idea of politeness in the eighteenth-century. This excerpt talks about trends between politeness and its relation to behavior. This is similar to discussions of sentimentalism, passions, and propriety.

Creator

Paul Langford

Publisher

Royal Historical Society

Date

2002

Contributor

Daniel Johnson

Relation

Adam Smith: Of the Sense of Propriety
David Hume: A Treatise of Human Nature

Format

Journal Article

Language

English

Type

Text

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

Politeness is a 'key word' for historians of eighteenth-century Britain. It implied a distinguishing vision of wider social concerns and less constricted cultural tastes than was attributed to earlier ages. What part it played in identifiable shifts of behaviour is harder to judge. Among people who served the growing commercial and professional needs of the day, its influence seems well attested. More problematic was its impact on plebeian life. Yet even here, there is evidence to suggest some degree of 'polishing' in line with contemporary expectations, to the extent that politeness itself ceased to describe social aspirations and became synonymous with basic standards of civil behaviour.

Original Format

Journal Article

Citation

Paul Langford, “THE USES OF EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY POLITENESS,” Enlightenmens, accessed December 2, 2022, http://enlightenmens.lmc.gatech.edu/items/show/579.

Output Formats