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Two stories about toleration

Rainer Forst

No 15, RECON Online Working Papers Series from RECON

Abstract: In current social conflicts in European societies such as the ones concerning the crucifix in classrooms or the foulard or the burka worn in public, toleration is a concept claimed by all involved. The paper uncovers the historical and conceptual reasons for such ambivalence about the notion of toleration. It starts from a conceptual analysis and then reconstructs two stories about toleration which lead to two different conceptions of it – the hierarchical permission conception and the democratic respect conception. The paper applies these to current conflicts and argues for an understanding of toleration based on a certain form of mutual respect despite deep ethical disagreement.

Keywords: democracy; diversity/homogeneity; normative political theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-08-15
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-hpe and nep-pol
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