Tuesday, March 04, 2014

New Book: "Toleration" by Andrew Jason Cohen


by Andrew Jason Cohen

(Polity Press, 2014)

176 pages


Beginning with some key insights into what we mean by toleration, Andrew J. Cohen goes on to investigate what should be tolerated and why. We should not be free to do everything: Murder, rape, and theft, for clear examples, should not be tolerated. But should we be free to take drugs, hire a prostitute, or kill ourselves? Should our governments outlaw such activities or tolerate them? Should they tolerate “outsourcing” of jobs or importing of goods or put embargos on other countries? Cohen examines these difficult questions, among others, and argues that we should look to principles of toleration to guide our answers. These principles tell us when limiting freedom is acceptable - that is, they indicate the proper limits of toleration. Cohen deftly explains the main principles on offer and indicates why one of these stands out from the rest.

Contents [preview]


1. The Topic and its Historical Relevance
2. Two Approaches to the Normative Issues
3. The Harm Principle
4. Other Principles
5. Extending the Harm Principle
6. Children and the Paradoxes of Toleration and Liberalism
7. General Defences of Toleration
8. Conclusion

Andrew Jason Cohen is Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy, Georgia State University. See his blog post on his new book here.

See also two of his papers: 

* "What Tolerance Is" [pdf].

* "What the Liberal State Should Tolerate Within Its Borders

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