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Reasonable tolerance

The idea of toleration as the appropriate response to difference has been central to liberal thought since Locke. Although the subject has been widely and variously explored, there has been reluctance to acknowledge the new meaning that current debates offer on toleration. This book starts from a clear recognition of the new terms of the debate, reflecting the capacity of seeing the other's viewpoint, and the limited extent to which toleration can be granted. Theoretical statements on toleration posit at the same time its necessity in democratic societies, and its impossibility as a coherent ideal. There are several possible objections to, and ways of developing the ideal of, reasonable tolerance as advocated by John Rawls and by some other supporters of political liberalism. The first part of the book explores some of them. In some real-life conflicts, it is unclear on whom the burden of reasonableness may fall. This part discusses the reasonableness of pluralism, and general concept and various more specific conceptions of toleration. The forces of progressive politics have been divided into two camps: redistribution and recognition. The second part of the book is an attempt to explore the internal coherence of such a transformation when applied to different contexts. It argues that openness to others in discourse, and their treatment as free and equal, is part of a kind of reflexive toleration that pertains to public communication in the deliberative context. Social ethos, religious discrimination and education are discussed in connection with tolerance.

Abstract only
Mark Garnett
Kevin Hickson

bureaucrats. Therefore, the interests of the public were best served by the market, through which they could express their own preferences. Communities Turning to communities, Willetts draws on a number of arguments to formulate what he regards as a distinctively Conservative form of community. Firstly, he engages with the Rawlsian argument that individuals removed from existing communal relations can formulate ideas of liberty and social justice.22 The distributive effects of this ‘veil of ignorance’ are less important than the contractarian nature of the Rawlsian argument

in Conservative thinkers
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Reasonable tolerance
Catriona McKinnon
Dario Castiglione

contact with each other and are, to a degree, sensitive to each other’s pursuits. A second kind of objection to the Rawlsian argument is that advanced by Matt Matravers and Sue Mendus, who regard Rawls’s argument from the ‘burdens of judgement’ and Brian Barry’s justification of impartiality by MCKIN 1/10/2003 6 10:15 AM Page 6 Introduction: reasonable tolerance reference to a moderate epistemological scepticism as two ways of making toleration a requirement of reason that is limited in the sphere of practical political justification.11 They argue that Barry

in The culture of toleration in diverse societies