Shaftesbury and the Culture of Politeness: Moral Discourse and Cultural Politics in Early Eighteenth-Century England

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 25, 1994 - History - 217 pages
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The third Earl of Shaftesbury was a pivotal figure in eighteenth-century thought and culture. Professor Klein's study is the first to examine the extensive Shaftesbury manuscripts and offer an interpretation of his diverse writings as an attempt to comprehend contemporary society and politics and, in particular, to offer a legitimation for the new Whig political order established after 1688. As the focus of Shaftesbury's thinking was the idea of politeness, this study involves the first serious examination of the importance of the idea of politeness in the eighteenth century for thinking about society and culture and organising cultural practices. Through politeness, Shaftesbury conceptualised a new kind of public and critical culture for Britain and Europe, and greatly influenced the philosophical and cultural models associated with the European Enlightenment.

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Part I Polite Philosophy
Part II Polite Whiggism

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About the author (1994)

Lawrence E. Klein, who teaches history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is the author of "Shaftesbury and the Culture of Politeness: Moral Discourse and Cultural Politics in Early-Eighteenth-Century England". He has also edited the third earl of Shaftesbury's "Characteristics" for Cambridge University Press.
Anthony J. La Vopa, who teaches history at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, is currently a fellow at the National Humanities Center. He is the author of a number of articles on eighteenth-century German social and intellectual history, and of "Grace, Talent, and Merit: Poor Students, Clerical Careers, and Professional Ideology in Eighteenth-Century Germany". He is working on a biography of Johann Gottlieb Fichte.

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