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Social Theory and Practice

Volume 43, Issue 3, July 2017

Derek Edyvane
Pages 449-471
DOI: 10.5840/soctheorpract20177289

Toleration and Civility

Toleration and civility are commonly treated as synonyms. This paper elaborates a novel distinction between the concepts and suggests that the relatively neglected idea of civility may provide a more promising basis for the accommodation of normative diversity in a liberal polity. It argues that liberal regimes of toleration depend for their success on a form of fraternal solidarity among citizens that is unlikely to flourish in conditions of liberal freedom. Regimes of civility, by contrast, depend on a form of liberal friendship that is more congruent with the wider tendencies of a liberal culture.

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