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The Wrong of Rudeness: Learning Modern Civility from Ancient Chinese Philosophy

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2020.02.11 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Amy Olberding, The Wrong of Rudeness: Learning Modern Civility from Ancient Chinese Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2019, 183pp., $29.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780190880965. Reviewed by Andrew Lambert, City University of New York, College of Staten Island Amy Olberding notes that this book is a response to increased polarization and conflict in civil life in the United States (ix). Besides political discourse, the problem of incivility or rudeness is found also in everyday social life -- such as what to do when "Uncle Frank" makes offensive remarks about race, sexuality and immigration at the family Thanksgiving dinner (144). Olberding's response is to turn to the Confucian tradition. The early Confucians' commitment to civility can help us to re-think social relations, and arrive at an outlook that recognizes the difficulty of bridging gaps between us but also sustains a sense of solidarity. Olberding starts from a disconcerting premise, the sheer pleasure of being rude: "I am often rude. I... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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