Rethinking Tolerance as a Political Demand, Moral Virtue and Character Ideal

October 5, 2018 - October 6, 2018
Department of Philosophy (Section Phenomenology), University of Graz

SZ 15.21
Universitätsstraße 15

View the Call For Papers

Topic areas

Talks at this conference

Add a talk


Keynote speakers:

Sophie Loidolt (TU Darmstadt)

David Heyd (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Jann Schlimme (Hannover Medical School)

Conference description:

It is a declared objective of all western democracies to foster a thriving communal life of human beings from different social milieus and with various ethnical, ideological, political or cultural backgrounds. While it seems impossible to avoid conflict in such a pluralistic society, it is part of every liberal approach, and of culture generally – at least since the Age of Enlightenment – to deal with such conflicts and disagreements on the basis of some jointly recognized minimal rules and value commitments. A significant aspect of this cultural heritage is the idea of toleration. Indeed, the idea of tolerance is key, as it answers to a fundamental sociopolitical issue arising directly from the endorsement of cultural diversity: how should we deal with “others” and “otherness” in a civilized and peaceful way?

Usually, the notion of toleration is understood either as a political demand or as a moral concept (or both). While the political dimension is most widely acknowledged, tolerance as a moral concept seems less clear and more controversial. The central aim of this conference is to clarify the notion with a special focus on its moral dimension. Taking account of the non-ideal circumstances of everyday life, this should also include scrutinizing pathological aspects of behavior which effectively weaken or abolish human agents’ capability to act in accordance with the idea of toleration. Furthermore, if tolerance in general is about how to deal with others and otherness in a decent manner, then it is reasonable to ponder how the difference between “normal” and “non-normal” variants of otherness manifests itself with regard to the prospects of living together in tolerant ways. From this perspective, tolerance presents itself as a thick concept embedded (or even entangled) in different aspects of a collectively shared form of life which remains hidden, so to speak, as long as its “sharedness” is taken for granted. It is therefore not surprising that issues of pathological otherness at once demand an exploration of and pose a challenge to those deeply entrenched, yet historically and culturally varying ideas of human nature that lie beneath our talk about tolerance and tolerant patterns of behavior. Hence, by looking at phenomena of otherness, one can hope to figure out how certain anthropological ideas, social conventions, as well as moral and political demands interlock in shaping our notion of tolerance. Accordingly, it can be assumed that any sustainable understanding of the notion of tolerance will benefit from interdisciplinary and cross-sectional investigations.

As mentioned, however, this conference intends to elaborate on the notion of tolerance predominantly in view of its moral aspects.


Friday 05, October 2018

09:00 – 09:30 Opening

09:30 – 10:30 David Heyd (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)´
What Toleration is Not?

10:30 – 11:30 Siegfried van Duffel (Nazarbayev University)
The Shape of Tolerance as a Moral Virtue

11:30 – 12:00 Coffee Break

12:00 – 13:00 Francesco Chiesa (University of Trento)
Respect-based Tolerance and its Limits

13:00 – 14:00 Markus Seethaler (University of Graz)
Tolerance and Moral Disagreement

14:00 – 15:30 Lunch

15:30 – 16:30 Sonja Rinofner (University of Graz)
Tolerance and Ressentiment: Why Tolerance Strikes Us as a Burdened Virtue

16:30 – 17:30 Aljosa Kravanija (University of Ljubljana)
Toleration as Check on Our Moral Vigilance

17:30 – 18:00 Coffee Break

18:00 – 19:00 Johannes Drerup (University of Koblenz-Landau)
Education of the Emotions, Intolerance and the Politics of Fear

19:30 Evening Reception
Poster presentation: Ingrid Hoegler, Johannes Wagner (University of Graz)
Tolerance Contextualized: Perceptual and Affective Dimensions of a Balance of Reasons

Saturday 06, October 2018

09:00 – 10:00 Christina Chuang (Nanyang Technological University)
Tolerant behavior and empathy

10:00 – 11:00 Hannah Read (Duke University)
Tolerance and Empathy

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:30 Giorgi Tskhadaia (Pompeu Fabra University)
Between Reason and Sensorium when Conceptualizing Tolerance 

12:30 – 13:30 Jann Schlimme (Hannover Medical School)
Intersubjective resonance – a condition for being tolerant?

13:30 – 15:00 Lunch

15:00 – 16:00 Sophie Loidolt (TU Darmstadt)
Practices of Enlarged Mentality: Tolerance, Otherness, and Plurality

16:00 – 17:00 Harald Stelzer (University of Graz)
‘Let it pass’. Between careless tolerance and committed intolerance


Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl (University of Graz)

Markus Seethaler (University of Graz)

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)




Who is attending?

No one has said they will attend yet.

Will you attend this event?

Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.