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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 September 2021

Active Indifference

Active Indifference

A Neutral and Accommodating State

(p.51) 3 Active Indifference
Respecting Toleration

Peter Balint

Oxford University Press

This chapter makes the case for indifference as the preferred form of state toleration. It shows that one of the key premises in the argument for the state engaging in respect for difference is flawed: neutrality is capable of accommodating a wide variety of ways of life. Neutrality is an unrealizable yet still action-guiding political ideal. It only makes sense in relation to a particular range of things (people’s ways of life) and needs to be sensitive to the changing nature of this range. But this difference-sensitivity can be realized by either withdrawing support for all parties or actively assisting them. The chapter then argues for the former: state neutrality, as active indifference, which should ideally involve withdrawing support for favoured ways of life rather than actively recognizing the various ways of life of its citizens.

Keywords:   liberal neutrality, indifference, multiculturalism, group-differentiated rights, identity claims, toleration

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