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The Virtue of Etiquette

  • Townhouse Kreuzberg Berlin Germany (map)

The word etiquette first emerged in France in the Court of Louis XIV when his gardener used little cards or etiquettes to remind others to keep off of the grass. It’s history, however, is as long as that of human civilizations. From the Maxims of Ptahhotep in Egypt during the third millennium, to Confusion texts of the Zhou dynasty of Ancient China, to the periodicals of the eighteenth century which extolled the virtues of politeness and “the art of being pleasing in company,” etiquette has been a central fixture of society and governance.

In this salon we will discuss the virtue and value of etiquette historically and in a cross-cultural context. We will also question the nature of etiquette in the twenty first century, the influence that technology has had on our understandings of respectful exchange, and the future of etiquette in an increasingly globalized world.

This salon is by invitation.