TOLERANCE AND DEMOCRACY
FALL QUARTER 2001
This course focuses on the value of tolerance and its implications for both the principles and practices of democracy. It examines tolerance both as it has been understood by political philosophers and as it is understood by citizens at large. The readings therefore include such classics as John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty and Isaiah Berlin’s "Two Concepts of Liberty" and modern studies of public opinion. Among the topics examined are: ideas of liberty; value pluralism; the interplay of authority and obedience; the role of political elites and mass publics in democratic societies; and multiculturalism.
The class will be run as a seminar, and students will be expected to take responsibility for one topic on the syllabus, preparing a brief paper, circulated in advance, and leading the initial discussion in class. The paper should discuss strengths and weaknesses of the arguments and evidence they encounter in the readings. An adequate paper would provide a summary of the readings; a superior paper would go on to point to weakness in the readings, unresolved research questions, or the substantive implications of any methodological deficiencies. A longer paper will count for two thirds of the grade. Both papers are graded on the logic of the arguments, understanding of the material, creativity, and clarity of exposition.
If you have problems downloading the readings, please contact email@example.com.
Oct 2: Introduction
Oct 9: Two Concepts of Liberty
Charles Taylor, "What's Wrong With Negative Liberty." in David Miller (ed.), 1991, Liberty, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
John Gray, "Berlin’s Agonistic Liberalism" in Isaiah Berlin, 1996. Princeton University Press.
Oct 16: Elites and Mass: Democratic Elitism, Democratic Participation and Democratic Values
Oct. 30: Alienation and Authority
Nov. 13: Multiculturalism Outside the US: Conflicts Between Ways of Life
Nov. 20: Hate Speech and Speech
Louis Gates, Jr., 1994. "War of Words: Critical Race Theory and the First
Amendment," in H.L Gates,got Gates A.P. Griffen, D.F. Lively, R.C.Post,
W.B. Rubenstein, and N. Strossend (eds.), Speaking, Speaking of Sex. New
York: New York University Press.
Irwin Cutler, 2000, "Holcaust Denial, Equality, and Harm: Boundaries of Liberty and Tolerance in a Liberal Democracy, in Liberal Democracy and the Limits of Tolerance." (Ed.) Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Nov. 27: Tolerance, The Principle of Colorblindness, and the Problem of Assimilation
Dec. 4: Liberty