Daniel Markovits, Yale Law School

Toleration as Respect

Date: 
Mon, 10/17/2011
Location: 
4:30 - 6:00 PM, Kerstetter Room, Marx Hall

We hope you will join us for the first LAPA Seminar of 2011-2012 with Daniel Markovits, Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School, to discuss "Toleration as Respect".

As always, the LAPA format asks that seminar participants familiarize themselves with the paper in advance. The commentator will open the session by summarizing the main themes in the paper and presenting some topics for discussion. The author then has the right of first response before we open to the floor for questions. The seminar will end with a brief reception in the Kerstetter Room, giving everyone a chance to mingle and meet. 

For those planning to attend the seminar, hard copies of the seminar paper are available during regular business hours in 416A Robertson Hall, or you may write to Judi Rivkin at jrivkin@princeton.edu to request an electronic copy.

Professor Markovits writes: "The state ought not just to indulge dissent or deviance but rather to respect it.  The respect requirement makes toleration exceedingly difficult-not just to practice but also to defend.  Conventional theories confidently imagine that toleration is secure in its core, so that the difficult and uncertain questions all arise at the extremes of moral disagreement and concern toleration's outer limits.  These theories therefore emphasize the question just how destructive and immoral deviance must be before it becomes intolerable.  The connection between toleration and respect destabilizes this assumption.  Respect involves a display of deference to moral heterodoxy that orthodox moral opinion will condemn not just in casesthat concern radical dissenters, but in every instance, concerning even themost modest moral disagreements.  The difficulty of toleration thus reasserts itself even in the cases conventionally thought central to toleration and thus easy.  The core challenge for the theory of toleration is therefore not to develop an argument demonstrating that every sectarian creed should tolerate every other; rather, it is to develop an argument demonstrating that any sectarian creed might tolerate (in the respect sense) any other.  Relatedly, respectful toleration is as uncomfortable for those whose sectarian moral ideals favor political arrangements commonly called 'liberal' or 'cosmopolitan' as for those whose morals tend towards "conservatism" or 'communitarianism.'" 

Daniel Markovits is Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He works in the philosophical foundations of private law, moral and political philosophy, and behavioral economics. He has written articles on contract, legal ethics, distributive justice, democratic theory, and other-regarding preferences. Professor Markovits concentrates, in each area, on the ways in which legal orderings engage the human instinct in favor of sociality to sustain cooperation even among persons who pursue conflicting interests and endorse competing moral ideals. He finds respectful relations in surprising places, for example in contracts between self-interested buyers and sellers, litigation between adversary disputants, and political competition between partisan parties. In each case, Markovits argues, seemingly competitive interactions contain, in their immanent logic, forms of reciprocal recognition and respect. After earning a B.A. in Mathematics, summa cum laude from Yale University, Markovits received a British Marshall Scholarship to study in England, where he was awarded an M.Sc. in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from the L.S.E. and a B.Phil. and D.Phil. in Philosophy from the University of Oxford. Markovits then returned to Yale to study law and, after clerking for the Honorable Guido Calabresi, joined the faculty at Yale.  

Stephen Macedo is Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics and the University Center for Human Values. He writes and teaches on political theory, ethics, public policy, and law, especially on topics related to liberalism, democracy and citizenship, diversity and civic education, religion and politics, and the family and sexuality. His current research concerns immigration and social justice, constitutional democracy in the US, and democracy and international institutions. From 2001-2009, he was Director of the University Center for Human Values. As founding director of Princeton's Program in Law and Public Affairs (1999-2001), he chaired the Princeton Project on Universal Jurisdiction, helped formulate the Princeton Principles on Universal Jurisdiction, and edited Universal Jurisdiction: International Courts and the Prosecution of Serious Crimes Under International Law (U. of Pennsylvania, 2004). As vice president of the American Political Science Association he was first chair of its standing committee on Civic Education and Engagement and principal co-author of Democracy at Risk: How Political Choices Undermine Citizen Participation, and What We Can Do About It (Brookings, 2005). His other books include Diversity and Distrust: Civic Education in a Multicultural Democracy (Harvard U. Press, 2000); and Liberal Virtues: Citizenship, Virtue, and Community in Liberal Constitutionalism (Oxford U. Press, 1990). He is co-author and co-editor of American Constitutional Interpretation, with W. F. Murphy, J. E. Fleming, and S. A. Barber (Foundation Press, fourth edition 2008).