Tolerance and its Limits

Ref: C2347308

British society is often regarded as one of the most tolerant in the world. In the last few decades however tension has been growing in public debate between those who advocate greater tolerance of differences in beliefs and actions, and those for whom tolerance has ‘gone too far’; between those who advocate not tolerating certain words or views and those who advocate the greatest scope possible for free speech. The course is an opportunity to stand back from the sometimes heated current debates and reflect on the meaning, limits and aims of toleration. Topics to be covered : 1. How tolerant am I ? Exploring our own attitudes to tolerance (with help of a philosophical questionnaire); 2.different interpretations of toleration and how they may apply to particular examples; 3. a history of the idea of toleration; 4. reflection on differences between the conceptual analyses presented and students’ understanding of tolerance.

Course aim

The aim of the course is to introduce students to different conceptions of tolerance and give them the opportunity to express and examine their own ideas about tolerance

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • indicate how tolerant I am and give reasons for my judgements
  • give a definition of toleration
  • name the key features of the four current conceptions of toleration and give examples of each
  • indicate any changes in my understanding of tolerance and toleration as a result of the course

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

This is an online course. You will need an email address, reliable Internet access, and a CANVAS account. Help with CANVAS is available from the national WEA team.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Tolerance and its Limits

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing