Diversity and the Limits of Liberal Toleration

In Duncan Ivison (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Multiculturalism. Ashgate (2010)
To fully respond to the demands of multiculturalism, a view of toleration would need to duly respect diversity both at the level of the application of principles of toleration and at the level of the justificatory foundations that a view of toleration may appeal to. The paper examines Rainer Forst’s post-Rawlsian, ‘reason-based’ attempt to provide a view of toleration that succeeds at these two levels and so allows us to tolerate tolerantly. His account turns on the view that a constructivist requirement of generality and reciprocity provides a suitable criterion of toleration since a commitment to this requirement is part of what defines people as reasonable. But it is neither plausible nor coherent to build such a requirement into an idea of reasonableness from which an account of toleration starts. Thus, constructivism cannot provide a tolerant criterion of toleration, if such criterion, in order to overcome the ‘paradox’ of intolerant toleration, must escape reasonable disagreement.
Keywords toleration  public justification  reasonableness  Rainer Forst  paradox of toleration
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