An Ethical Approach to the Concept of Toleration: Understanding Tolerance as a Political Virtue


The concept of toleration is commonly argued in political discourses and debates, when people refer to diversity and pluralism, as a form of respect and understanding. However, this does not represent an improvement at the moment of dealing with issues where a variety of values, conceptions and beliefs arises. In addition, even though when the idea of toleration was developed during Enlightenment, nowadays it seems to lead to a misconception of the term, following a connotation of a passive indifference about diversity. Due to this, the main objective of this text is to analyze the concept of toleration from an ethical perspective that allows thinking about it in terms of a political virtue needed to face the challenges of diversity inside society. In order to show this, the text presents an analysis of different conceptions of the term, in order to highlight the positive notion of toleration; after that, the text moves on, reviewing the idea of toleration from a hermeneutical perspective, as a form to reinforce the positive characteristics of the term, and path to solve the query between tolerance and intolerance. Finally, as a conclusion, it underlines that understanding the concept of toleration from an ethical perspective implies a praxis develop in daily circumstances.

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Mayorga, I. (2014) An Ethical Approach to the Concept of Toleration: Understanding Tolerance as a Political Virtue. Open Journal of Philosophy, 4, 575-583. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2014.44059.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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