Toleration and the character of pluralism
in The culture of toleration in diverse societies

This chapter offers an interpretation of John Rawls whereby political principles of toleration are justified in virtue of the legitimate expectation that citizens themselves move beyond toleration in their political discourse by engaging with one another in public reason. It shows that some assumptions about citizens' personal attitudes must be made before political toleration can be claimed to be appropriate. Revealing these assumptions shows that reflections on the nature of pluralism are a red herring with respect to arguments for political toleration. Toleration of disliked or disapproved of people requires refraining from repression and official discouragement of the practices constitutive of these differences. Political principles of toleration are necessary for preserving peace, stability and justice between people divided by incommensurable differences.


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