Essay III. Reciprocity arguments for toleration

From now on I intend to put aside history and exegesis of texts to take up as philosophical questions some matters which arise from Bayle's argument for toleration . In fact I believe that the main conclusions I argue for in the remaining essays are substantially Bayle's, but I am not concerned to show that they are, and have not adopted them out of any loyalty to him. This third essay is an analysis of the reciprocity argument as a type. I have already discussed Bayle's version, but other versions are possible, and it seems worthwhile to analyse their common structure and consider their limitations. The fourth essay is a discussion of the ethics of belief and inquiry. This topic was touched on in connection with Fr Terrill's views on invincible ignorance (see above, Essay I, sect. 3), and again in connection with Bayle's views on culpable error, prepossession, opinionatedness and temerity (see above, Essay II, sect. 4.2). In the Philosophical Commentary see Supplement, ch. 17, "What judgement should be made of those who will not enter into disputes". But since Bayle's time a good deal has been written on the subject, and a discussion independent of his seems worthwhile. I will therefore put the texts aside and enter upon a consideration of some of the questions they have raised.
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