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The Importance of Being CivilThe Struggle for Political Decency$
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John A. Hall

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153261

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153261.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Importance of Being Civil

John A. Hall

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of civility. Civility does not stand in the way of truth and moral development but is rather a precondition for them. Nor is it the case that civility is tied in some essentialist way to the class-bound eighteenth-century world in which it first reached something of an apogee. On the contrary, civility is important because it allows disagreement to take place without violence and regularizes conflict so that it can be productive. This initial characterization should be taken merely as an orienting device for all that follows. A good deal of light will be cast on the nature of civility by describing the concerns of its enemies, by those who respond to diversity in different ways.

Keywords:   civility, moral development, disagreement, conflict, diversity

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