Markian Romanyshyn ’23
Major: Political Science, Philosophy
Concentration: International Relations
In a world more interconnected than ever before, where difference is utterly inescapable, many of us look to the virtue of toleration for direction. But even as we hail toleration for its capacity to unite a diverse polis, the idea of toleration itself is fracturing under our noses. On college campuses, for instance, we see some argue for greater toleration of historically oppressed minorities, and others, positioning themselves at odds, argue for toleration of diverse ideas which are potentially anathema to social justice work per se. In both camps, questions like “Toleration of what?”, “Toleration for which reasons?” and, indeed, “What is toleration in the first place?” are overlooked. To uncover implied answers to these questions, and crucially, to uncover unspoken political implications, this article does three things: First, it highlights the importance of Rainer Forst’s “justifications of toleration” as we seek to understand contemporary discourses, second, it presents an original, three-tier understanding of popular justifications of toleration (which includes the liberal justification, the power-corrective justification and the ethical-corrective justification) and finally, third, it concludes by proposing that Forst’s work writ large, in light of insights gathered in the justification-oriented analysis original to this article, ought to be considered as a means of moving the toleration discourse foreword.