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Title: The morality of toleration : towards a realist account of political toleration
Author: Khameh, Armin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 8181
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2015
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Western societies today are marked by a broad liberal consensus in favour of toleration. Yet, some philosophers have charged that toleration as a liberal ideal is incoherent. Some have argued that toleration is incompatible with liberal political orders. Others have suggested that in a truly liberal society it is practically redundant. These charges are based on two interrelated claims: 1) Toleration involves, semantically and historically, power asymmetries and hierarchical positioning; hence toleration is an inegalitarian practice in nature, and therefore unjust (inegalitarian charge). 2) In a constitutional liberal order, the state’s justice-based duty of non-interference is a morally more appropriate response to diversity than is toleration; hence toleration is a redundant practice (redundancy charge) In order to reconcile toleration with liberal political practice, in this thesis, I investigate the validity of these claims. My contention is that toleration can resist the inegalitarian charge. This is the aim that I pursue in the first two chapters. I argue firstly that the supposition of a right to interference as a necessary component of the concept of toleration address the inegalitarian charge. I then articulate a two-level model of tolerant deliberation that does a better job than existing theories explaining the relation between reasons in favour and against interference with the disapproved-of. I will finally argue that political toleration completes, rather than replicates, justice-based non-interferences. A defence of this “complementarity thesis,” requires two moves. First, I construct a formal theory of political toleration that goes beyond the state’s justice-based duty of non-interference. Second, I demonstrate how and under what conditions political toleration, as a distinct form of the state’s non-interference, can be enacted. Inspired by the revival of interest in political realism in recent years, I argue that the emergence of the “extraordinary politics” permits the state to exclude/suspend its justice-based interference. The latter is tantamount to what I refer to as acts of political toleration.
Supervisor: Viehoff, Daniel ; Lawford-Smith, Holly Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available