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.

MCK4 1/10/2003 10:24 AM Page 71 4 Toleration, justice and reason Rainer Forst In contemporary debates about the idea and the problems of a multicultural society the concept of toleration plays a major but by no means clear and uncontested role. For some, it is a desirable state of mutual respect or esteem, while for others it is at best a pragmatic and at worst a repressive relation between persons or groups. In the following, I want to suggest an understanding of toleration that both explains and avoids these ambiguities. First, I distinguish between a

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MCK9 1/10/2003 10:32 AM Page 161 9 Toleration and laïcité Cécile Laborde France is an indivisible, laïque, democratic and social republic. It ensures equality of all citizens before the law with no distinction made on the basis of origin, race or religion. It respects all beliefs. (Article 2 of 1958 Constitution) In September 1989, three schoolgirls wearing the traditional Muslim headscarf were barred from entering a school near Paris, and later expelled. The headmaster claimed to be applying a long-established republican rule prohibiting religious symbols

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MCK1 1/10/2003 10:16 AM Page 13 1 Toleration and reasonableness Jeremy Waldron Traffic In the streets of a large city, people drive their cars for different reasons and to different destinations. Because the roads are crowded and because these different journeys cut across each other, with people going different ways through various intersections, there is a potential problem. If two vehicles pass through the same intersection at the same time, there may be a collision, and if there is, one or both of the drivers may fail to reach their destinations. (Indeed

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MCK3 1/10/2003 10:21 AM Page 54 3 Toleration and the character of pluralism Catriona McKinnon This chapter addresses two influential ways of thinking about which political principles we ought to adopt. The first way of thinking starts with expectations about how persons ought to relate to one another in political discourse. Political principles are justified by reference to these expectations. The second way of thinking starts with certain values around which, it is claimed, people ought to structure their lives. Political principles are then justified by

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MCK6 1/10/2003 10:26 AM Page 111 6 Reflexive toleration in a deliberative democracy James Bohman Any feasible ideal of democracy must face the unavoidable social fact that the citizenry of a modern state is heterogeneous along a number of intersecting dimensions, including race, class, religion and culture. If that ideal is also deliberative, and thus requires that citizens commit themselves to making decisions according to reasons they believe are public, then such diversity raises the possibility of deep and potentially irresolvable conflicts. When

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MCK8 1/10/2003 10:29 AM Page 147 8 Social ethos and the dynamics of toleration Jonathan Wolff ‘The difficulty with toleration’, writes Bernard Williams, ‘is that it seems to be at once necessary and impossible.’1 Toleration is necessary if groups with fundamentally different and conflicting values and beliefs are to live in peace together, but, so it is said, prima facie impossible under such circumstances. Why so? The idea of toleration only seems appropriate when a conflict of values or beliefs goes so deep that groups may think that ‘they cannot accept

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MCK10 1/10/2003 10:34 AM Page 179 10 Toleration of religious discrimination in employment Stuart White Introduction: toleration and equal opportunity Two ideas feature prominently in contemporary accounts of the just society. One is the idea of toleration and the related idea of religious freedom. A second is the idea of equal opportunity and, derived from this, the idea that the state should protect its members from discrimination in relation to jobs and other important goods such as education. This chapter explores an apparent tension between these two

in The culture of toleration in diverse societies

5 Enthusiasm, blasphemy and toleration Because they first attracted respectable gentlemen among their ranks, the French Prophets were rapidly perceived as mind corrupters, religious perverters and social disrupters to the point of making the tolerated ‘intolerable’. Soon after initiating a battle of pamphlets, the Prophets faced an even more virulent opposition on the streets that would soon take them to court. The prospect of a judicial intervention was to prove particularly edgy. The Toleration Act in 1689 had changed the way England dealt with religious

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Some philosophical obstacles and their resolution

MCK11 1/10/2003 10:35 AM Page 196 11 Education to toleration: some philosophical obstacles and their resolution David Heyd Toleration as a perceptual shift of perspectives Moral education has played a central role in all major ethical systems of thought from Aristotle to Kant, from the Torah to socialist ideology. Providing the young with moral education is particularly tricky, since moral judgement, and even more so moral behaviour, does not come naturally to human beings. The incorporation of moral values and norms requires a distinctive effort and often

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