Philosophy now: tolerance and toleration
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’. The course is an opportunity to stand back from the sometimes heated current debates and reflect on the meaning, limits and aims of toleration.
To introduce students to different conceptions of tolerance and give them the opportunity to express and examine their own ideas about tolerance
Who is the course for?
What topics will this course cover
1. How tolerant are you ? Exploring your own attitudes to tolerance with help of a philosophical questionnaire 2. The concept of toleration 3. Reflection on differences between the conceptual analyses presented and students’ understanding of tolerance 4. A history of the idea of toleration 5. Four current conceptions of toleration – and application to examples 6. review and evaluation
What will it be like?
WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.
By the end of the course I should be able to:
1. indicate how tolerant you are and your reasons for your responses 2. give a definition of toleration 3. name the key features of the four current conceptions of toleration and give examples of each 4. indicate any changes in your understanding of tolerance and toleration as a result of the course
How will I know I'm making progress?
Through the Individual Learning Plans; regular informal feedback from the tutor on progress and how to expand knowledge and skills; Q&A sessions in which students will be invited to extend an argument, explain a concept etc
What else do I need to know, do or bring?
No prior knowledge expected (although always welcome). Just bring what you need in order to make some notes (pen, paper and/or electronic device) and a willingness to consider different ideas, including ones you disagree with.
Reading and information sources
Not expected – suggestion for further study : articles on toleration in the online Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy or the online Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
What could the course lead to?
Further WEA Philosophy courses The Open University’s openlearn online courses A MOOG (online courses – free unless taken for accreditation – some are very demanding indeed)
Download full course outline
This course is not available for online enrolment.
Please call 0115 962 8400 to enquire about enrolling on this course.