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Respecting TolerationTraditional Liberalism and Contemporary Diversity$
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Peter Balint

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198758594

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198758594.001.0001

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Understanding Political Toleration

Understanding Political Toleration

(p.23) 2 Understanding Political Toleration
Respecting Toleration

Peter Balint

Oxford University Press

Understanding political toleration requires more than just the orthodox notion of tolerance as forbearance, it also requires a permissive understanding of toleration as a general practice. This general understanding of toleration allows three broad possibilities for the accommodation of diversity: forbearance tolerance, indifference, and respect for difference. Using this two-part understanding of political toleration, this chapter argues that toleration and neutrality are entirely compatible (both are range concepts), and that because toleration can, but does not have to, involve objection, those who see toleration as ‘despotic’ overstate their concern. In using this conceptual framework, the chapter makes sense of several different ways of explaining political toleration, and shows how and why toleration applies to the liberal state.

Keywords:   political toleration, toleration, tolerance, neutrality, indifference

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