Radical evil in the Lockean state: The neglect of the political emotions

Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (2):159-178 (2006)
All modern liberal democracies have strong reasons to support an idea of toleration, understood as involving respect, not only grudging acceptance, and to extend it to all religious and secular doctrines, limiting only conduct that violates the rights of other citizens. There is no modern democracy, however, in which toleration of this sort is a stable achievement. Why is toleration, attractive in principle, so difficult to achieve? The normative case for toleration was well articulated by John Locke in his influential A Letter Concerning Toleration , although his attractive proposal thus rests on a fragile foundation. Kant did much more, combining a Lockean account of the state with a profound diagnosis of ‘radical evil’, the tendencies in all human beings to militate against stable toleration and respect. But Kant proposed no mechanism through which the state might mitigate the harmful influence of ‘radical evil’, thus rendering toleration stable. One solution to this problem was proposed by Rousseau, but it has deep problems. How, then, can a respectful pluralistic society shore up the fragile human basis of toleration, especially in a world in which we need to cultivate toleration not only within each state, but also among peoples and states, in this interlocking world? Key Words: toleration • emotion • evil • liberal democracy • Locke • Mill • Kant • Rousseau.
Keywords emotion   Locke   Mill   evil   Rousseau   liberal democracy   toleration   Kant
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/1740468106065490
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,191
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

134 ( #35,789 of 2,172,044 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #46,377 of 2,172,044 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums