Dating and manners

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Learning by listening to everybody and knowing that human knowledge is never perfect are a leitmotif.

Avoiding open conflict wherever possible should not be considered weakness.

Stress is placed on the pursuit of justice, although it is conceded that it is a god's command that prevails in the end.

Some of the maxims refer to one's behaviour when in the presence of the great, how to choose the right master and how to serve him.

Shaftesbury defined politeness as the art of being pleasing in company: Periodicals, such as The Spectator, founded as a daily publication by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele in 1711, gave regular advice to its readers on how to conform to the etiquette required of a polite gentleman.

Its stated goal was "to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality...

They became preoccupied with precise rules of etiquette, such as when to show emotion, the art of elegant dress and graceful conversation and how to act courteously, especially with women.

Louis XIV (1638–1718) "transformed a royal hunting lodge in Versailles, a village 25 miles southwest of the capital, into one of the largest palaces in the world, officially moving his court and government there in 1682.

Petersen and Lupton argue that manners helped reduce the boundaries between the public sphere and the private sphere and gave rise to “a highly reflective self, a self who monitors his or her behavior with due regard for others with whom he or she interacts socially.” They explain that; “The public behavior of individuals came to signify their social standing, a means of presenting the self and of evaluating others and thus the control of the outward self was vital.” From this perspective, manners are seen not just as a means of displaying one’s social status, but also as a means of maintaining social boundaries relative to class and identity.

Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of ‘habitus’ can also contribute to the understanding of manners.

They enable human ‘ultrasociality’ argued that manners arose as a product of group living and persist as a way of maintaining social order.

He theorized that manners proliferated during the Renaissance in response to the development of the ‘absolute state’ – the progression from small group living to the centralization of power by the state.

Chesterfield endeavoured to decouple the issue of manners from conventional morality, arguing that mastery of etiquette was an important weapon for social advancement.

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