Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 10, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2003

Andrew Fiala
Pages 33-40

Toleration and the Limits of the Moral Imagination

This essay discusses one source of toleration: a modest recognition of the limits of our ability to imagine the situation of the other. It further connects this with both respect for the autonomy of the other and the moral need to engage the other in dialogue. The conclusion is that toleration is important in light of the ubiquity of failures of the moral imagination. It considers several examples of the failure of the moral imagination, including a discussion of the Hindu practice of sati or widow burning.