Toleration and Its Limits: NOMOS XLVIII

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Toleration has a rich tradition in Western political philosophy. It is, after all, one of the defining topics of political philosophy—historically pivotal in the development of modern liberalism, prominent in the writings of such canonical figures as John Locke and John Stuart Mill, and central to our understanding of the idea of a society in which individuals have the right to live their own lives by their own values, left alone by the state so long as they respect the similar interests of others.

Toleration and Its Limits, the latest addition to the NOMOS series, explores the philosophical nuances of the concept of toleration and its scope in contemporary liberal democratic societies. Editors Melissa S. Williams and Jeremy Waldron carefully compiled essays that address the tradition’s key historical figures; its role in the development and evolution of Western political theory; its relation to morality, liberalism, and identity; and its limits and dangers.

Contributors: Lawrence A. Alexander, Kathryn Abrams, Wendy Brown, Ingrid Creppell, Noah Feldman, Rainer Forst, David Heyd, Glyn Morgan, Glen Newey, Michael A. Rosenthal, Andrew Sabl, Steven D. Smith, and Alex Tuckness.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814794111
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2008
  • Series: Nomos Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 481
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Melissa S. Williams is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto and founding director of the university’s Centre for Ethics. She is the current editor of the NOMOS series, and author of Voice, Trust and Memory: Marginalized
Groups and the Failings of Liberal Representation.

Jeremy Waldron is Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law. He is the author of Nonsense upon Stilts: Bentham, Burke and Marx on the Rights of Man.

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Table of Contents





  1. Hobbes on Public Worship

    Jeremy Waldron

  2. Spinoza on Why the Sovereign Can Command Men’s Tongues but Not Their Minds

    Michael A. Rosenthal

  3. Pierre Bayle’s Reflexive Theory of Toleration

    Rainer Forst

  4. Locke’s Main Argument for Toleration

    Alex Tuckness

  5. The Mode and Limits of John Stuart Mill’s Toleration

    Glyn Morgan


  6. Is Toleration a Political Virtue?

    David Heyd

  1. Forbearant and Engaged Toleration: A Comment on David Heyd

    Kathryn Abrams

  2. “Virtuous to Himself”: Pluralistic Democracy and the Toleration of Tolerations

    Andrew Sabl


  3. Toleration and Liberal Commitments

    Steven D. Smith

  4. Toleration and Truth: Comments on Steven D. Smith

    Rainer Forst

  5. How Impoverishing Is Liberalism? A Comment on
    Steven D. Smith

    Glyn Morgan

  6. Is There Logical Space on the Moral Map for Toleration? A Brief Comment on Smith, Morgan, and Forst

    Lawrence A. Alexander


  7. Toleration, Politics, and the Role of Mutuality

    Ingrid Creppell

  8. Toleration, Politics, and the Role of Murality

    Glen Newey

  9. Morality, Self-interest, and the Politics of Toleration

    Noah Feldman

  10. Tolerance as/in Civilizational Discourse

    Wendy Brown


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