Res Publica

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 265-270

First online:

Legalising Toleration: a Reply to Balint

  • Peter JonesAffiliated withEmeritus Professor of Political Philosophy, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


I re-present my account of how a liberal democratic society can be tolerant and do so in a way designed to meet Peter Balint’s objections. In particular, I explain how toleration can be approached from a third-party perspective, which is that of neither tolerator nor tolerated but of rule-makers providing for the toleration that the citizens of a society are to extend to one another. Constructing a regime of toleration should not be confused with engaging in toleration. Negative appraisal and power remain ‘possibility conditions’ of toleration but they are not necessary features of either a regime of toleration or the sponsors of such a regime.


Toleration Intolerance Religious toleration Liberal democracy