Bijdragen: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie en Theologie vol:71 issue:4 pages:391-406
In Toleranz im Konflikt (2003) and in other works the German philosopher Rainer Forst presents an intricate interpretation of tolerance as a moral-political virtue. His aim is to resolve many of the well-known paradoxes by distinguishing different components of tolerance (objection, acceptance and rejection) and distinguishing the reasons that we may have for objecting, accepting or rejecting certain practices and views. Good ethical reasons for objecting to certain practices and views do not morally justify their suppression by legal means and state power. In this way Forst connects his inclusive analysis of tolerance, with both his account of the contexts of justification and his defense of what he calls the moral right to justification.
In his critical discussion Tim Heysse sounds the political implications of this analysis of tolerance. He criticizes its exclusive focus on political and legal power and its corresponding neglect of social power. However, he also calls attention to the fact that Forst’s analysis has the merit of revealing tolerance as a potential source of political conflict in society.