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Rethinking Tolerance

This lecture will argue that despite its frequent rhetorical use, 21st century western society does not take the classical liberal ideal of tolerance very seriously. Even its advocates are far too often guilty of applying a double standard and practice their tolerance very selectively. This selective orientation towards tolerance often legitimises attitudes and behaviour that are decidedly intolerant. Although people rarely acclaim intolerance by their illiberal behaviour they are often surprisingly censorious and unforgiving towards beliefs and views that challenge their assumptions. Matters are made worse by the confusions that surround the meaning of this term. Tolerance is often used in ways that would shock and surprise the philosophers and thinkers who developed this concept. The lecture aims to clarify and elaborate the meaning of tolerance for the contemporary era.

Frank Furedi is Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent in Canterbury. He is the author of numerous books, which offer an authoritative yet lively account of key developments in contemporary cultural life. He regularly comments on radio and television, appearing on Newsnight, Sky and BBC News, Radio Four’s Today programme, and a variety of other radio television shows. His articles have been published in New Scientist, The Guardian, The Independent, The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Express, The Daily Mail, The Wall Street Journal, The Independent on Sunday, India Today, L’Espresso, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph, Toronto Globe and Mail, The Christian Science Monitor, The Times Higher Education Supplement, The Times Literary Supplement, Harvard Business Review, Die Welt and Die Zeit, among others. He blogs at Spiked Online and http://www.frankfuredi.com/.



Professor Frank Furedi | talks | www


Date and Time:

28 November 2010 at 11:00 am


2 hours



Conway Hall
Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
0207 242 8034

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