New paper by Professor Rainer Forst (Frankfurt):
"Two Stories about Toleration" (pdf)
In current social conflicts in European societies such as the ones concerning the crucifix in classrooms or the foulard or the burka worn in public, toleration is a concept claimed by all involved. The paper uncovers the historical and conceptual reasons for such ambivalence about the notion of toleration. It starts from a conceptual analysis and then reconstructs two stories about toleration which lead to two different conceptions of it – the hierarchical permission conception and the democratic respect conception. The paper applies these to current conflicts and argues for an understanding of toleration based on a certain form of mutual respect despite deep ethical disagreement.
Rainer Forst is Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main. He is author of "Kontexte der Gerechtigkeit" (1994) [English: "Contexts of Justice" (2002)], "Toleranz im Konflikt" (2003) and "Das Recht auf Rechtfertigung. Elemente einer konstruktivistischen Theorie der Gerechtigkeit" (2007) [An English translation is coming out on Columbia University Press.]
See also Rainer Forst's article on "Toleration" at Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.