Overcoming toleration?
in Toleration, power and the right to justification
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Daniel Weinstock frames his response to Rainer Forst within debates over ideal and non-ideal political theory. If any political concept reflects non-ideal political circumstances, he argues, it is toleration, since it emerges from a context in which people not only disagree about how their common lives should be organised, but are willing to coerce others into seeing things their way. Turning to Forst’s work, Weinstock provides a brief account of the overall argument, highlighting the main structural elements of the view Forst defends. He then identifies a puzzling feature in that account, one that facilitates the conflation of non-ideal and ideal toleration. In the third and fourth sections of the chapter, Weinstock describes two families of reasons that might underpin a non-ideal conception of toleration, one that is more attuned than Forst’s is to self-restraint as a constitutive ingredient of the structural account of toleration. The first of these families of reasons is consequentialist in nature, while the second emphasises the fallibilism of the kind of human judgement that is central to Forst’s own way of thinking about toleration. Finally, Weinstock offers some reasons for thinking that these two conceptions of toleration ought to be considered distinct, rather than, as Forst thinks, examples of the non-ideal kind drawing its normative justification from its approximation of the ideal kind.

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