1 Institut for Statskundskab, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Political Theory, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 Institut for Statskundskab, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet
This paper considers the politics of tolerance through the lens of Spinoza’s philosophy of immanence. The contention is that Spinoza’s philosophy of immanence provides us with a better conceptualization of the relationship between tolerance and power, and that it in so doing reinvigorates a theory of active tolerance that, for the most part, has been lost in contemporary democratic theory. Spinoza’s philosophy of immanence does so because it animates a sensorial orientation to politics, one that heightens our attention to the affective components of political life, enabling us to better theorize how all modes of existence, including the so-called passive ones, harbor a degree of power that can be mobilized for purposes that go beyond the “non-practice” highlighted by advocates and critics of tolerance in contemporary democratic theory. The paper develops this argument with ongoing reference to Marcuse’s critique of tolerance.
Political Theory, 2013, Vol 41, Issue 5, p. 687-709
Spinoza; Marcuse; tolerance; affect; religious pluralism; hijab