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Principled toleration and respectful indifference in the liberal polity: A conceptual landscape

Cole, Phillip

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Authors

Phil Cole Phil.Cole@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations



Abstract

This paper examines toleration at two levels. At the first level, liberal individualism is concerned that the individual must be as free as possible to pursue their own goals and lifestyles. At the second level, liberal political theory is concerned with the value of liberal political culture and institutions and how to maintain and protect them. I argue that we can learn a great deal about the exercise of toleration and respect at the level of the liberal polity by examining them at the level of the liberal individual. Both tolerance and intolerance at the level of the polity must be principled. Principled tolerance and intolerance have the following features. First, the judgment whether to tolerate a particular belief or practice must be based on the value of toleration itself, not pragmatic political requirements. Second, it should be an issue of setting aside moral principles and convictions rather than dislikes, prejudices or fears. Third, it should respect the distinction between the public and the private, and should only recognise an issue as one of toleration if there is a public impact at stake.

Citation

Cole, P. (2019). Principled toleration and respectful indifference in the liberal polity: A conceptual landscape. Balkan Journal of Philosophy, 11(1), 5-14. https://doi.org/10.5840/bjp20191112

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 3, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 1, 2019
Publication Date Jan 1, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 7, 2019
Journal Balkan Journal of Philosophy
Print ISSN 1313-888X
Electronic ISSN 2367-5438
Publisher Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 5-14
DOI https://doi.org/10.5840/bjp20191112
Keywords toleration
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/854633
Publisher URL https://www.pdcnet.org/bjp/content/bjp_2019_0011_0001_0005_0014

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