Why the traditional conception of toleration still matters

The ?traditional? conception of toleration, understood as the putting up with beliefs and practices by those who disapprove of them, has come under increasing attack in recent years for being negative, condescending and judgemental. Instead, its critics argue for a more positive, affirmative conception, perhaps best captured by Anna Elisabetta Galeotti?s idea of ?toleration as recognition?. In this article, without denying that it is not always the most appropriate form of response to differences, I defend the traditional conception of toleration against its critics. Two principal arguments are advanced in defence of it: the first articulates its role as part of a viable and realistic political theory of modus vivendi, while the second argues that it is only the traditional conception of toleration that makes possible the mutual accommodation of some values that are genuinely antithetical and hostlie to each other. Thus, there remains an important place for the traditional conception of toleration in both political theory and practice
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DOI 10.1080/13698230.2011.571874
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John Rawls (1993). Political Liberalism. Columbia University Press.
J. Rawls (1995). Political Liberalism. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.

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