Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 1255–1257 | Cite as

Peter Balint: Respecting Toleration: Traditional Liberalism and Contemporary Diversity

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, Hardcover (978-0-19-875859-4), 57, 60€. 167 p
  • Élise RouméasEmail author

Peter Balint’s book lays out a vibrant plaidoyer for political toleration. By revisiting a classical concept, Balint objects to the multiculturalist’s call to go “beyond toleration” and towards a positive appraisal of differences. The liberal ideal of toleration is rescued and deemed apt at responding to the contemporary challenge of diversity.

The main conceptual contribution of the book is a broader understanding of toleration as a political practice. Traditional accounts of toleration typically involve three elements: (1) an agent objecting to another agent; (2) the agent has the power to negatively interfere with the other agent; (3) the agent deliberately chooses not to interfere, for principled reasons. Balint’s account drops the “objection” component, and leaves space for a range of relationships with the object of toleration, from objection to indifference, and even respect. “Forbearance tolerance”, which includes a negative valuing of the object of toleration, is only a subset...


Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OxfordOxfordUK

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