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By Anna Elisabetta Galeotti

Anna Elisabetta Galeotti examines the main intractable difficulties which toleration encounters and argues that what's rather at stake isn't really spiritual or ethical war of words however the unequal prestige of other social teams. Liberal theories of toleration fail to understand this and for this reason get a hold of normative options which are insufficient whilst faced with debatable circumstances. Galeotti proposes another, toleration as acceptance, which addresses the matter of in accordance equivalent appreciate to teams in addition to equivalent liberty to members.

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Yet, as some contemporary liberal thinkers have remarked, liberalism as a political ideal is not morally empty, but includes a set of distinctive virtues and purposes. The discussion between neutralist and perfectionist interpretations of liberalism has to do with the ethical content of liberal theory. Liberal theories of toleration  the liberal state be neutral with reference to ‘private’ social differences, but also, more importantly, toleration and neutrality are proposed as the normative devices in a constitutional argument for bringing about a consensus on the liberal principles which underwrite political legitimacy.

At the same time, while originally the differences to be tolerated had to be declared irrelevant from the point of view of order and peace, with the rise of the concept of neutrality, the political irrelevance of differences is transformed into political indifference and blindness towards them. So while social differences, well protected by individual rights, are to be tolerated in the private sphere, in the public sphere they should simply be ignored. In addition to this indifference, the principle of neutrality also engendered a conceptualization of the public sphere as a neutralized area from which social differences were irrelevant, a purified space of equals where only merit should count as a differentiating principle.

Part : Economics and Philosophy, , , pp. –; Jeremy Waldron, “Autonomy and Perfectionism in Raz, Morality of Freedom,” California Law Review, , –, , pp. –; Barry, “How Not to Defend Liberal Liberal theories of toleration  the distinguishing feature of liberalism, as opposed to other political ideals, is its commitment to a set of rules and principles of justice with no moral content, that is, a set of principles which is neutral with reference to any ethical conception.

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