Rethinking Politeness with Henri Bergson (Paperback)

Rethinking Politeness with Henri Bergson By Alessandro Duranti (Editor) Cover Image
By Alessandro Duranti (Editor)
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In 1885, Henri Bergson addressed a class of French high school students on the subject of politeness. Bergson would go on to become one of the most influential philosophers of his time, yet although this essay set forth a striking theory of politeness and foreshadowed aspects of his later
work, it remains remarkably little-known. Rethinking Politeness with Henri Bergson offers the first English translation of Discours sur la Politesse, and brings together leading linguistic anthropologists to critically engage with and expand on Bergson's ideas.

At the core of Bergson's essay is a tripartite classification of politeness acts into politesse des mani res (politeness of manners), politesse de l'esprit (politeness of mind/spirit), and politesse du coeur (politeness of the heart). Presented along a hierarchy of intersubjective attunement
and ethical aspirations, Bergson's three types call for the progressive abandonment of habits when they get in the way of our ability to help others. They can also be read as an invitation to consider politeness as a dimension of human sociability that is relevant to social theory. Collectively, the
essays in this volume untangle the ideological, socio-historical, and material conditions that shape notions of the ideal social agent, and propose a rethinking of politeness that serves as a bridge to larger issues of civility, citizenship, and democracy.

About the Author

Alessandro Duranti is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at UCLA. His books include From Grammar to Politics: Linguistic Anthropology in a Western Samoan Village (1994), the textbook Linguistic Anthropology (1997), The Anthropology of Intentions: Language in a World of Others (2015), and anumber of edited volumes. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the UCLA Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award, and the American Anthropological Association/Mayfield Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780197637869
ISBN-10: 0197637868
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: May 6th, 2022
Pages: 192
Language: English