A Critique of Pure Tolerance – Robert Paul Wolff, Barrington Moore Jr., Herbert Marcuse (1965)

1960s: Days of Rage

A Critique of Pure Tolerance is a 1965 book by the philosopher Robert Paul Wolff, the sociologist Barrington Moore Jr., and the philosopher Herbert Marcuse, in which the authors discuss the political role of tolerance. … The authors explain that the book’s title refers to the philosopher Immanuel Kant‘s Critique of Pure Reason (1781), and suggest that their ideas may resemble those of Kant. They note that they have different perspectives on philosophy, with Wolff accepting, and Marcuse opposing, the approach of analytic philosophy, and Moore being critical of philosophy in general. They write that the purpose of the book is to discuss the political role of tolerance and that despite their disagreements with each other they believe that ‘the prevailing theory and practice of tolerance’ is hypocritical and conceals ‘appalling political realities.’ Wolff argues that tolerance should be studied ‘by means…

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