Tolerance Between Intolerance and the Intolerable

Front Cover
Paul Ricoeur
Berghahn Books, 1996 - Philosophy - 219 pages

It seems more urgent than ever before to fend off the rising wave of intolerance and at the same time determine the nature of tolerance and its limits. As Ricoeur says in his Foreword: "Tolerance is a tricky subject: too easy or too difficult. It is indeed too easy to deplore intolerance, without putting oneself into question, oneself and the different allegiances with which each person identifies." In order to explore these complexities, he has gathered together a number of prominent thinkers from various parts of the world and areas of activity and invited them to reflect on the "obstacles and limits to tolerance." The Declaration of Principles on Tolerance, issued by the United Nations in 1995, rounds up this remarkable collection of essays.

Contributors: Norberto Bobbio, Vaclav Havel, Jeanne Hersch, Bernard Williams, Octavio Paz, Ghislain Waterlot, Antoine Garapon, Mario Bettati, Yehudi Menuhin, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Abdelwahab Bouhdiba, Hans Küng, Wole Soyinka, Ionna Kuçuradi, Monique Canto-Sperber, Paul Ricoeur, Desmond Tutu.

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Contents

Paul Ricceur
1
Vaclav Havel
19
To Think Tolerance
25
Bernard Williams
35
Octavio
49
Antoine Garapon
71
Mario Bettati
91
Yehudi Menuhin
111
Some Spiritual Sources of Tolerance
113
Hans Kiing
137
Wole Soyinka
157
Monique CantoSperber
175
Paul KKUUI
189
Desmond Tutu
203
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Professor of philosophy at the University of Paris and the University of Chicago, Paul Ricoeur has been described as "possibly the only younger philosopher in Europe whose reputation is of the magnitude of that of the old men of Existentialism---Marcel, Jaspers, Heidegger and Sartre . . . ." His work has been characterized as "the most massive accomplishment of any philosopher of Christian faith since the appearance of Gabriel Marcel." A practitioner of the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl mediated by a return to Immanuel Kant---in that things in themselves, though unknowable, are not excluded by bracketing existence but are acknowledged as the necessary conditions for the possibility of human experience---Ricoeur has examined those parts of experience---faulty, fallible, and susceptible to error and evil---that other phenomenologists, interested primarily in the cognitional, have neglected. In this respect he follows in the footsteps of Heidegger and Sartre, but he goes beyond them in his discovery of principles transcending human subjectivity that are amenable to spiritual interpretation. Here Ricoeur steps within the contemporary hermeneutic circle of Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer, on whom he has written. Ricoeur's hermeneutical method, however, has much in common with the methods of biblical exegesis, and in this respect his works should be especially appealing to seminarians and the clergy.

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