Full recordShow full item record
AbstractThis dissertation defends the virtue of tolerance against two types of critics. First, it defends tolerance against critics who claim that it is not a virtue at all. Second, it defends tolerance against critics who claim that we should dispense with "merely" tolerating others in favor of a more welcoming approach to difference. I agree that in many cases, we should celebrate diversity rather than simply put up with it. Moreover, we ought not to tolerate certain behaviors, such as murder or racial discrimination. Nevertheless, in many cases, we ought to view other people's behavior as the kind of thing that we ought to disapprove of, but not act against. That is, we ought to tolerate others' behavior.In support of this claim, I argue that there is a hidden cost to attempts to leave tolerance behind. Without tolerance, people cannot engage in social cooperation despite serious moral disagreements. We may be able to create a society that allows difference. However, without tolerance, we cannot have a society that permits serious moral disagreement. Having made this argument, I go on to discuss ways that we can ensure that our moral and political principles leave room for tolerance. In particular, I discuss ways that we can enable people to respect each other's freedom, while still taking their moral disagreements seriously.