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What Toleration Is Not

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Abstract

One of the reasons for the lack of agreement about the normative justification of toleration is the unclarity of the concept of toleration itself. The aim of this chapter is to try to distinguish it from its many cognate concepts with which it is often associated. Some of them are cognitive in character (skepticism, relativism); some are pragmatic (coexistence, compromise); and others are psychological (restraint, indulgence), moral (charity, considerateness), or political (state neutrality, value pluralism). Subjecting these closely associated concepts to the formal conditions of toleration (objection, power to intervene, accommodation, reason for restraint, suffering) demonstrates that none of these cognate concepts can be distinctly identified as toleration. This leaves us with a very restricted concept of toleration which is more moral than political, personal rather than impersonal, and supererogatory rather than a duty or a right.

Keywords

  • Toleration
  • Skepticism
  • Accommodation
  • Respect for rights
  • Supererogation

Omnis determinatio est negatio

Spinoza

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Correspondence to David Heyd .

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Heyd, D. (2022). What Toleration Is Not. In: Sardoč, M. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Toleration. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-42121-2_6

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