Volume 3, Issue 2, 2011
On Toleration, Charity, and Epistemic Fallibilism
In this paper I examine some presuppositions of toleration and pluralism. I explore two models, viz. a deontological and a consequentialist model, respectively, which could support the view that rational agents should act in a tolerant way. Against the background which is offered by the first model I give two arguments in favor of the view that people are better off and more rational if they act in a tolerant way. The first argument draws upon a principle of charity which one usually makes use of in philosophy of mind and philosophy of language but which could work equally well with regard to this foundational issue in ethics and philosophy
of action. The second argument is built upon the epistemic principle of fallibilism and it is meant to show that from this vantage point acting in a tolerant way is the rational thing to do.