Most regard toleration as an unattractive fallback position of compromise and so tend to overlook it in favor of such active concepts as freedom, equality, and justice. Fotion and Elfstrom argue that toleration offers us the useful possibility of responding to a difficult situation with a degree of flexibility not possible with the dichotomous concepts of good-bad, right-wrong, ethical-unethical, Right-Left.
Tolerating saturates ordinary human life and infuses public discussions of religion, morality, and politics. It forms a major strand in the history of Western European thought. Yet the word "toleration" and similar terms are rarely used. Unnoticed and unremarked, they are like the air that surrounds us, vitally important yet invisible.
The authors seek to address this oversight in several ways. They begin with a thorough conceptual analysis of toleration and its kindred concepts. They are convinced that an appreciation of the importance of the family of toleration concepts must be founded on an understanding of the various ways in which they function in our language and our lives.
In addition, they examine the historical development of the concept of toleration and canvass the major arguments people have employed either to urge toleration or to disparage it. They examine the role of toleration in liberal political philosophy and respond to the major critics of liberal toleration.
The authors also discuss a number of factors that cause toleration to be overlooked in political debate and personal reflection and offer evidence to support the view that this omission is unfortunate. In particular, they argue that toleration has the crucial role of helping people live with one another with respect and dignity in the fractious and contentious world we inhabit.
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Tolerating Tolerance and Intolerance
Roles of the Toleration Concepts
Toleration and Reason Giving
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acceptance acting intolerantly action activity allow and/or argued arguments basic behavior beliefs cept chapter claim coercion collectivist commendatory concept of toleration concerned condition contrast Decibelians dichotomous disapproval distinction eration example expressions feel form of toleration freedom of speech groups H. L. A. Hart harm Hegel's Herbert Marcuse human ideology important individual intoler issue James Fitzjames Stephen John Rawls John Stuart Mill kinds less Letter Concerning Toleration liberal society liberal toleration Liberty Marcuse Marcuse's Marxist matter means Mill Mill's moral nature negative attitudes nontoleration normative not-tolerating objective option passive perspective Philosophy Pluralist Pluralist Theory policies political position procedural Purification Strategy R. M. Hare reason giving religion repression response complexity result Robert Paul Wolff role Ronald Dworkin sense simply situation social sort Soviets speak speech acts tactical talk Theory things tion tolerant and intolerant tolerant person toleration concepts truth University Press variety Wolff