Toleration in Law
23 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2018
Date Written: January 30, 2018
This paper challenges the contemporary approach to the study of toleration. In particular, I argue that this approach misunderstands the nature of the morality of toleration in politics. The mistake lies in supposing that law is akin to a dependent variable in the moral analysis leading up to the recommendation to use (or not to use) the law in the morally required way. However, I argue that law is partially constitutive of the study of toleration. The reason is that certain legal rules and institutions go beyond facilitating, accommodating, or enforcing moral prescriptions. Instead, they often assume a formative role by establishing forms of social interaction that would otherwise not have been available. To this extent, law partially determines the doctrine of toleration in politics. The argument focuses on one core case, private ownership, to demonstrate this broader point.
Keywords: toleration, discrimination, property, law, equality, religious liberty
JEL Classification: K10, K11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation