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Toleration and Domination

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Abstract

The concept of toleration has received scrutiny in recent years, with concerns raised that pursuing value involves a form of domination, understood as the capacity to exercise of arbitrary power. This chapter aims for critical consideration of concepts of toleration and domination firstly by addressing Wendy Brown’s suggestion that current discourses on toleration “governmentalize” social minorities, by subtly controlling their access to the public sphere. On this understanding, toleration dominates in an “internal,” psychological sense, by encouraging minorities to interiorize an inferior social status. Domination also has, however, an external dimension, in so far as it is viewed as probable hindrance or obstruction in the external world from acting according to one’s own reasons and motives. The chapter considers the relation between toleration and external domination, by critically considering Rainer Forst’s neo-Kantian view that a respect-based conception secures the “discursive involvement” of minorities in the justificatory processes involved in decisions to tolerate. Not only does respect-toleration have certain limitations as regards nondomination. Also, Brown’s and Forst’s approaches to external and internal toleration commonly focus on a passive subject of toleration, or the person who awaits the wider society’s tolerance in a way which may fail to equalize opportunities for nondomination. This chapter concludes by outlining a conception of nondominating toleration understood less as a one-off event, and more as a stable subjective attitude of civility. Following Modood, Honohan, and Tonder, this conception depends on the need to establish endurance as a positive, forward-looking mental attitude.

Keywords

  • Toleration
  • Domination
  • Permission
  • Respect
  • Subordination
  • Governmentality
  • Duality
  • Coexistence
  • Esteem
  • Minorities
  • Arbitrary power
  • Endurance
  • Resilience
  • Nondomination
  • Secure toleration

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Correspondence to Monica Mookherjee .

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Mookherjee, M. (2022). Toleration and Domination. In: Sardoč, M. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Toleration. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-42121-2_21

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