Tolerance / Edition 1

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Tolerance, while proving necessary in today's varied world, can be grudgingly given and resentfully received. Toleration may be necessary, but it has little appeal, and certainly cannot serve as either a central or unifying doctrine in a thriving moral or political philosophy. A deeper understanding of what tolerance requires leads us to see that it demands more. Once we inculcate the attitude of tolerance in ourselves and our politics, tolerance can occupy the difficult and contested. It does not make sense, for instance, if we already fully accept a practice; nor does it make sense if what we are asked to tolerate is 'intolerable:' we appeal to those inclined to be intolerant to soften their judgement, to grant that what they disapprove can, and should be, permitted. What needs to be done is to show how tolerance is rooted in an appealing moral and political theory. Only then will toleration move beyond either simple expediency or grudging forbearance.

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Editorial Reviews

Oberdiek has written a highly intelligible, well researched, and closely argued book. His wide-ranging, sophisticated discussion of the philosophical history of tolerance provides a liberal argument for tolerance with a notable depth of scholarship.
Philadelphia Inquirer
Offers a welcomingly clear, tightly written, cerebrally entertaining analysis of a notion Western liberals typically favor, but rarely probe.
A stimulating read.
Oberdiek's account is a welcome addition to the growing literature on toleration, and his discussion of substantive or comprehensive liberalism is fresh and insightful.
The Philosophical Review
We learn much from this book's thorough survey, detailed history, and thoughtful discussion of an important and timely topic.
Oberdiek has written a highly intelligible, well researched, and closely argued book. His wide-ranging, sophisticated discussion of the philosophical history of tolerance provides a liberal argument for tolerance with a notable depth of scholarship.
Michael Krausz
The concept of tolerance is central to a range of pressing issues in value theory and cultural studies. When setting out his distinctive and original liberal treatment of it, Oberdiek articulates philosophical challenges with which anyone in the human studies will need to grapple. Any subsequent study of the concept of tolerance will have to come to terms with Oberdiek's careful and insightful analysis. This is required reading for both professionals and students.
Oberdiek (philosophy, Swarthmore) explicates the concept of tolerance, drawing out its strengths and its paradoxes, and distinguishing it from related concepts like permission and acceptance. He describes the role of tolerance in political and moral thought, especially in the theories of Aquinas, Locke, and modern liberalism. He also seeks to ground tolerance in a defensible political and moral theory. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847687862
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Series: Philosophy and the Global Context Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 194
  • Product dimensions: 0.45 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Hans Oberdiek is professor of philosophy at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Tolerance: An Impossible Virtue? Chapter 3 Puzzles and Paradoxes of Tolerance Chapter 4 Shades of Tolerance Chapter 5 The Circumstances of Tolerance Chapter 6 The Intolerable Chapter 7 Thomas Aquinas and John Locke on Toleration Chapter 8 Regimes on Toleration Chapter 9 A Liberal Argument for Tolerance Chapter 10 Objections ans Replies Chapter 11 Epilogue

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