Democracy and the political value of toleration

Eduardo Fuentes


It is a widespread opinion that toleration, as a political practice, has merely instrumental value. The aim of this paper is to defend, on the contrary, that toleration has political value in itself. In more specific terms, I will claim that it is valuable in itself in virtue of its intrinsic relationship with democracy. Toleration is a constituent of democracy inasmuch as it is necessary for the existence of a democratic administration of political power. I will show that that relation of constitution holds because toleration, through the protection of spaces of contestation to the political power, contributes to solving democracy’s inner tension resulting from its practical implementation.

Keywords: toleration, democracy, power, intrinsic value.

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ISSN: 1984-8234 - Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox

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