Promoting of calm and mutual respect in a social context, in part by respecting established norms.

Something that seems to be particularly challenging for many people in mediated, on-line discussions.

Civility means knowing the often-somewhat-arbitrary social conventions of those you live among so that you can know how your behavior is interpreted and act accordingly (e.g. you may not mean any offense by wearing a bright floral print outfit to a funeral, but your lack of knowledge of social conventions in this case is something of a vice). Conventionality and conformity are a double-edged sword, however, and can be temptations to non-virtuous behavior in some circumstances.

Complementary virtues

Contrasting vices

  • anti-social
  • blundering
  • divisive
  • off-putting
  • out-of-touch / out-of-step
  • rude
  • shrill
  • tone-deaf

Virtues possibly in tension

How to acquire or strengthen it


Notes and links

Mentioned elsewhere

Inspirational quotes

  • “Sane people did what their neighbors did, so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them.” —George Eliot (Middlemarch)