Abstract

“The Difficulty of Tolerance” deals not only with freedom of expression, but also with other forms of activity that affect the nature of a society by influencing what others believe and how they act. This essay develops the idea of “informal politics”. “The Difficulty of Tolerance” is concerned with the costs of having certain rights generally recognized, and with the problems posed by their open-ended character. Its particular concern is with the risks involved in having one’s society be always open to being altered by the activities of individuals and groups whose values one does not share. I argue that one must bear this risk as the price of recognizing one’s fellow citizens as equal members of society – and thus equally entitled to play a role in determining how that society evolves.

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