Journal of Applied Philosophy 30 (3):191-194 (2013)

Maria Paola Ferretti
Goethe University Frankfurt
Ian Carter
Universita' degli Studi di Pavia
In attempting to clarify both the concept of toleration and its role in contemporary society several authors have interpreted it as based on the notion of respect for persons. Persons are due respect as moral agents and as such should be allowed to make their own choices, even if the content of those choices meets with our disapproval. According to a classical understanding of toleration, one can be said to tolerate something if one disapproves of it (this is commonly called the ‘objection component’ of toleration); has the power to interfere with it (the ‘power component’); and yet abstains from interfering in the light of certain overriding reasons (the ‘acceptance component’ or ‘non-interference component’). Respecting people as autonomous and as able to formulate and follow a plan of life, individually or collectively, might well be thought to give us a reason for showing tolerance by supplying a basis for its acceptance component. However, the idea that toleration is an outcome of respect, rather than a distinct and sometimes conflicting notion, is far from uncontroversial. Indeed, the ideal of respect has sometimes been seen as incompatible with the objection component of toleration, which presupposes a negative evaluation and therefore seems to imply the other’s inferiority.The relation between respect and toleration therefore stands in need of further philosophical analysis. The articles in this collection aim to advance that analysis by addressing some of the core philosophical problems affecting the relative normative roles of respect and toleration understood as contemporary liberal democratic ideals.
Keywords Toleration  Respect  Liberalism
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DOI 10.1111/japp.12022
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