A Matter of Respect. On the relation between the majority and minorities in a democracy
Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||The relations between the majority and minorities in a democracy have been standardly viewed as the main subject matter of toleration: the majority should refrain from using its dominant position to interfere with some minorities’ practices or beliefs despite its dislike or disapproval of such practices or beliefs. Can the idea of toleration provide us with the necessary resources to understand and respond to the problems arising out of majority/minorities relations in a democracy? We reply in the negative and make two main claims: first, that resorting to toleration is not enough to make sense of the problems deriving from the unequal participation of minorities in society, and, second, that it risks sanctioning the asymmetric relation between the majority and minorities informed by the negative judgement of the former towards some belief or practice of the latter. We suggest resorting instead to the idea of equal opacity respect for persons: all persons should be treated equally as moral agents, in accordance with their equally possessing the capacity for self-legislation, and as if they were opaque to our judgement for all those properties of theirs which exceed moral agency. Looking at the majority/minorities relations through such a lens enables us to understand (and appropriately respond to) what is problematic in such relations: the majority often fails to treat minorities as moral agents by failing to take their voices into account on an equal footing, by seeing them merely as recipients of certain provisions affecting them rather than their authors, and by considering them as legitimately exposed to the majority’s (negative) judgment. The purchase of our argument is illustrated by reference to two minorities whose treatment is paradigmatic of the problematic nature of majority/minorities relations across Europe: Muslims and Roma.|
|Keywords||Toleration Respect Democracy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|External links||This entry has no external links. Add one.|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Emanuela Ceva (2012). Why Toleration Is Not the Appropriate Response to Dissenting Minorities' Claims. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2).
Andrew Shorten (2005). Toleration and Cultural Controversies. Res Publica 11 (3):275-299.
Asifa M. Hussain & William L. Miller (2006). Multicultural Nationalism: Islamophobia, Anglophobia, and Devolution. OUP Oxford.
Jitendra Nath Sarker (2006). Majority Rule and Minority Rights. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 2:169-173.
Andrew Payne (2007). Emerson on Socrates and the Tyranny of the Majority. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 10:203-207.
Jürgen Habermas (2004). Religious Tolerance—the Pacemaker for Cultural Rights. Philosophy 79 (1):5-18.
James Bohman (2003). Deliberative Toleration. Political Theory 31 (6):757-779.
María Del Carmen Triana, Kwanghyun Kim & María Fernanda García (2011). To Help or Not to Help? Personal Value for Diversity Moderates the Relationship Between Discrimination Against Minorities and Citizenship Behavior Toward Minorities. Journal of Business Ethics 102 (2):333-342.
María del Carmen Triana, María Fernanda Wagstaff & Kwanghyun Kim (2012). That's Not Fair! How Personal Value for Diversity Influences Reactions to the Perceived Discriminatory Treatment of Minorities. Journal of Business Ethics 111 (2):211-218.
Virginijus Savukynas (2003). The \"Other\" in Society: Stereotypes and Identity (Contribution to the Relationship Between the Identity of Majority and Stereotypes of Minorities. Dialogue and Universalism 13 (1-2):103-120.
M. Khomyakov (2013). Toleration and Respect: Historical Instances and Current Problems. European Journal of Political Theory 12 (3):223-239.
Veit Bader (2001). Associative Democracy and the Incorporation of Minorities: Critical Remarks on Paul Hirst'sassociative Democracy. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 4 (1):187-202.
Added to index2011-10-08
Total downloads13 ( #95,712 of 740,480 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?