The Power of Tolerance

The Power of Tolerance: A Debate

Luca Di Blasi
Christoph F. E. Holzhey
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 112
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  • Book Info
    The Power of Tolerance
    Book Description:

    We invoke the ideal of tolerance in response to conflict, but what does it mean to answer conflict with a call for tolerance? Is tolerance a way of resolving conflicts or a means of sustaining them? Does it transform conflicts into productive tensions, or does it perpetuate underlying power relations? To what extent does tolerance hide its involvement with power and act as a form of depoliticization?

    Wendy Brown and Rainer Forst debate the uses and misuses of tolerance, an exchange that highlights the fundamental differences in their critical practice despite a number of political similarities. Both scholars address the normative premises, limits, and political implications of various conceptions of tolerance. Brown offers a genealogical critique of contemporary discourses on tolerance in Western liberal societies, focusing on their inherent ties to colonialism and imperialism, and Forst reconstructs an intellectual history of tolerance that attempts to redeem its political virtue in democratic societies. Brown and Forst work from different perspectives and traditions, yet they each remain wary of the subjection and abnegation embodied in toleration discourses, among other issues. The result is a dialogue rich in critical and conceptual reflections on power, justice, discourse, rationality, and identity.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-53796-4
    Subjects: Philosophy, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-5)
  3. [Illustration]
    (pp. 6-6)
    (pp. 7-8)
  5. THE POWER OF TOLERANCE A Debate between Wendy Brown and Rainer Forst
    (pp. 9-70)

    ANTKE ENGEL: Good evening and a warm welcome to everyone. It is wonderful to have Wendy Brown and Rainer Forst as our guests of tonight’sSpannüngsbung, and I’m very enthused to see that so many of you are here, looking forward to an inspiring evening. We invited Wendy Brown, who is Emanuel Heller professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley, and Rainer Forst, who is professor of political theory and philosophy at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt as well as co-director of the Research Cluster ‘Formation of Normative orders’, because both have written major and...

  6. EPILOGUE: Tensions in Tolerance
    (pp. 71-102)
    Luca Di Blasi and Christoph F. E. Holzhey

    The debate between Wendy Brown and Rainer Forst, which took place in December 2008, was conceived and moderated by Antke Engel as a ‘Spannungsübung’, that is, an exercise of or in tension. This format was developed by Luca Di Blasi at the ICI Berlin in the context of its inaugural core projectTension/Spannung, which aims at reflecting upon one of the Institute’s guiding ideas: to explore ways of placing different cultures, discourses, and systems into productive confrontations, rather than insulating them from each other or arriving at a violent, pernicious conflict.Spannungsbüngenare discussions that seek to identify subtle differences...

    (pp. 103-106)
    (pp. 107-111)