Political Theory 34 (4):439-462 (2006)

In his most recent work, Jürgen Habermas has proposed a deliberative account of tolerance where the norms of tolerance—including the threshold of tolerance and the norms regulating the relationship between the tolerating and the tolerated parties—are the outcomes of deliberations among the citizens affected by the norms. He thinks that in this way, the threshold of tolerance can be rationalized and the relationship between tolerating and tolerated will rest on the symmetrical relations of public deliberations. In this essay, and inspired by Jacques Derrida's work on the concept of hospitality, I propose a deconstructive reading of Habermas's writings on tolerance. I argue that Habermas is ultimately unable to provide a rational foundation for tolerance and that his conception of tolerance encounters the same problems he is trying to avoid, namely, the contingency of the threshold of tolerance and a paternalistic relation between tolerating and tolerated. Yet, contra Habermas, the deconstruction of tolerance does not result in its destruction and does not force us to give up on the concept and practice of tolerance.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0090591706288234
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,379
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Tolerance and Liberal Justice.Daniel Augenstein - 2010 - Ratio Juris 23 (4):437-459.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Inmigración Y ciudadanía: Visibilidad, presencia, pertenencia.Javier de Lucas - 2003 - Anales de la Cátedra Francisco Suárez 37:81-103.
De/Reconstructing Terrorism.Lasse Thomassen - 2005 - Theory and Event 7 (4).
Deconstruction and Pragmatism.Lasse Thomassen - 2000 - Continental Philosophy Review 33 (4):499-502.
Review: Bound by Identity. [REVIEW]Lasse Thomassen - 2005 - Political Theory 33 (3):420 - 425.
Derrida, Time, and Political Subjectivity.Lasse Thomassen - 2010 - Radical Philosophy Review 13 (2):209-214.
Derrida: Profanations. By Patrick O’Connor.Lasse Thomassen - 2012 - The European Legacy 17 (7):962-963.
Introduction: Between Deconstruction and Rational Reconstruction.Lasse Thomassen - 2006 - In Lasse Thomassen, Jacques Derrida & Jürgen Habermas (eds.), The Derrida-Habermas Reader. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 1--7.
The Derrida-Habermas Reader, Ed. By Lasse Thomassen. [REVIEW]Richard Ganis - 2007 - Radical Philosophy Review 10 (2):197-203.
Review Article: Between Deconstruction and Rational Reconstruction.Lasse Thomassen - 2008 - European Journal of Political Theory 7 (3):382-390.


Added to PP index

Total views
1 ( #1,552,677 of 2,519,659 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #406,756 of 2,519,659 )

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes