Rainer Forst

Tolerance in Conflict - Past and Present

(German title: Toleranz im Konflikt)
ca. 807 pages
Rainer Forst
Foto: Rainer Forst
© Suhrkamp Verlag

Rainer Forst is professor for Political Theory and Philosophy at the Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main.

Rainer Forst has developed a theory of radical justice, human rights and democracy as well as of power and criticism itself.

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English world rights (Cambridge UP), Spanish world rights (Paidos), Chinese simplex rights (SPPH)


The concept of toleration plays a central role in pluralistic societies. It designates a stance which permits conflicts over beliefs and practices to persist while at the same time defusing them, because it is based on reasons for coexistence in conflict – that is, in continuing dissension. 

A critical examination of the concept makes clear, however, that its content and evaluation are profoundly contested matters and thus that the concept itself stands in conflict. For some, toleration was and is an expression of mutual respect in spite of far-reaching differences, for others, a condescending, potentially repressive attitude and practice. Rainer Forst analyses these conflicts by reconstructing the philosophical and political discourse of toleration since antiquity. He demonstrates the diversity of the justifications and practices of toleration from the Stoics and early Christians to the present day and develops a systematic theory which he tests in discussions of contemporary conflicts over toleration. (book description from the English edition by Cambridge University Press)

Other publications

Normativität und Macht/Normativity and Power (2015)

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English world rights (Oxford UP)

Kritik der Rechtfertigungsverhältnisse/Justification and Critique (2011)

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English world rights (Polity), Spanish world rights (Katz), Brazilian Portuguese rights (UNESP), Arabic world rights (Librairie Orientale), Italy (Trauben)

Das Recht auf Rechtfertigung/The Right to Justification (2007)

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English world rights (Columbia UP), Chinese simplex rights (SPPH)

Kontexte der Gerechtigkeit/Contexts of Justice (1996)

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English world rights (California UP), Chinese simplex rights (SPPH), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Boitempo)