Tolerance as a primary virtue

Res Publica 7 (3):231-245 (2001)
The commonly perceived tension between authentic moral and ethical action and action involving tolerance is held to be the illusory product of an unduly individualistic frame of thought. Moral and ethical actions are produced not by independent individuals but by participants in cultural traditions. And even the wholly routine continuation of a single homogeneous tradition must always and invariably involve mutual tolerance: participants must interact not as independent individuals but as tolerant members. Tolerance deserves recognition, accordingly, as a primary virtue, not merely compatible with authentic moral and ethical action, but required by it. An explicit rhetoric enjoining tolerance needs to be understood as performative discourse employed to change, or else to sustain, the systems of tolerances in which all cultures, whether simple or differentiated, homogeneous or diverse, unified or fragmented, invariably consist
Keywords individualism  primary and secondary virtues  social co-ordination  tolerance  traditions and cultures
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DOI 10.1023/A:1012212911402
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Polycarp Ikuenobe (2011). Conceptualizing Racism and Its Subtle Forms. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 41 (2):161-181.

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