Disagreement: Appreciating the Dark Side of Tolerance
A dark side of tolerating diversity is that--as the Latin root tolerare connotes--it involves the enduring of something disagreeable, perhaps even abhorrent. If utopia involves agreement on everything that really matters, it has no place for tolerating anything. There is some debate about the extent to which the sort of disagreement relevant to toleration involves matters of morality. Some seem to claim that we cannot tolerate actions that we regard as morally wrong (Midgley, Judgments, 70), whereas others suggest that toleration applies only to matters of which we morally disapprove (Nicholson; Raphael, 139). Perhaps both sides are right, depending on the culture; it has been remarked that the genius of American politics is to treat matters of principle as if they were merely conflicts of interest while the genius of French politics is to treat even conflicts of interests as if they were matters of principle (Wolff, 21). However, I agree with those who argue that we probably cannot draw a line between what we dislike and what we disapprove (Warnock, 127) and that, in any case, the issue of toleration can arise whenever there is disagreement about any matters regarded as important, be they mores or morals. The point to notice is that everyone in this debate agrees that toleration is to be sharply distinguished from both indifference toward diversity as well as broadminded celebration of it.
On the other hand, we sometimes think of tolerant persons as those who are very accepting of differences, and tolerant societies as those that encourage diversity. Here tolerance connotes the sort of affirming that renders the notion of begrudging endurance unnecessary, even offensive. In fact, a recent book suggests that liberalism's broadminded attitude is actually a threat to toleration (Fotion and Elfstrom, 124). As the authors put it paradoxically: "the more tolerant we become the less tolerant. . . we become," that is, as liberalism cultivates a more open and approving attitude it pushes us beyond merely enduring diversity. They suggest we use "tolerance" to refer to an accepting attitude and "toleration" to refer to enduring the disagreeable. If we take this suggestion we might say that tolerance undermimes toleration and that the genius of political liberalism is its ability to do precisely that. My thesis is that, although we do need a conceptual framework that allows us to respect many of the views we regard as wrong, it also must allow us to judge that these respectable views are disagreeable and even that sometimes actions based on them should not be tolerated.
First I want to note that ambivalence about the disagreement involved
in toleration extends to the history of its justification. I take the following to be part of the consensus history
of toleration in
So the early justifications
for toleration allowed and, in fact, insisted on its disapproving dark
side. Later justifications of toleration could also
be comfortable with it, even when the justification appealed to moral or
theological principle rather than to prudence or rationality. Respecting another's right to autonomy, whether motivated
by moral commitment or by religious awe toward those created in the image
of God, is quite consistent with disliking, disapproving,
and even abhorring the tolerated behavior. But with
Mill's On Liberty, a new element was added. Of
course, Mill did defend toleration of diversity on the prudential ground
of its leading to truth(50) and on the moral ground of a utilitarian right
to liberty(11). But, in addition, he supported measures
that would nurture diversity and not merely endure it.
Mill himself may have had a personal taste for the eccentric(64),
but he also argued that everyone should see human diversity as the means
for human progress(54-71). Thus he listed public opinion,
and not just legal coercion, as undesirable constraints on natural human
growth(9). Indeed, he was fond of comparing the use
of such traditional constraints to the Chinese practice of foot-binding(66). Not only did normal adults have the moral right to freedom,
but encouraging them to pursue diverse visions of the good life was both
necessary and sufficient for the ongoing improvement of society. Therefore, as long
as people were not allowed to harm each other, society should encourage
and not merely allow diversity. It is clear that
Mill's liberalism advocates a pluralism whose broadminded acceptance of
diversity makes toleration (in the sense of enduring the disagreeable)
as unnecessary as it is undesirable.
The above history of justification for toleration is, I hope, relatively uncontroversial (see, for example, Mendus, 22-68; Rawls, xxi-xxv; and Fotion, 75-80). It helps us understand some of what is behind the tension in political liberalism between tolerating differences and affirming them. It also reminds us that people would rather be celebrated than put-up-with, and that liberals find it nicer to accept something than endure it. What Bertrand Russell once said about friends also applies to strangers: "A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not to be endured with patient resignation"(157). However, this point reminds us why some worry that the "affirmation" side of liberalism flirts with relativism. The most stiff-necked dogmatist can tolerate disagreeable things, but can one accept (almost) everything and still have convictions of one's own, commitments that provide guidance, structure, and meaning for one's life?
The ambivalence in liberal attitudes toward toleration was underscored
for me last year when I served on a "Cultural Diversity Task-force" for
the local public schools. Our mandate was to develop
a plan "to ensure that all students will have an appreciation for cultural
diversity and global interdependence." A "strategic
planning retreat," which had earlier written the mandate, provided us
with ten basic beliefs, including the belief that "diversity enriches
society." It became clear that much of the positive
attitude toward diversity derived from the "inclusive education" approach
that the State of
Sometimes "non-judgemental" simply translated into the wise policy of being very careful about making judgements and very selective about expressing them. Other times it seemed to reduce to the claim that we cannot really understand other cultures, a claim similar to the sort of "moral isolationism" that Midgley has argued is incoherent (Heart, 160). Most often those stressing a non-judgemental attitude wanted students to avoid negative evaluations and felt that the best way to teach this was to nurture an open and affirming attitude toward cultural differences. (Thus they agreed that "non-judgemental" really means "positive-judgemental.") Of course, these teachers knew that some behavior must be judged wrong; however they thought that such behavior is not about cultural differences but about the sort of mutual respect required for education, safety, and citizenship. Such teachers find support from Nick Fotion and Gerard Elfstrom in their very helpful book Toleration. They emphasize "the repugnant nature of tolerating"(129) and note that people "naturally wish for others to hold them in esteem rather than be objects of reined-in contempt"(130). They believe that "substantive reasons exist for believing that liberal doctrine readily allows societies to be cleansed of toleration"(130).
Such a cleansing might appeal to those interested in cross-cultural understanding. In terms of Robert Hanvey's "An Attainable Global Perspective" (copies of which the task-force received and read), educators typically want students to go beyond the level I awareness of the exotic sort of differences noted by tourists and readers of National Geographic, and beyond the Level II awareness that relates these differences to the cultural traits noticed by those caught in cultural conflicts. They want students to acquire the Level III cognitive skills of understanding the outlooks of others in a way that makes them believable, and the Level IV empathy skills that enable one to see oneself in the others' situations. Having supervised an international college program in Asia, I certainly agree that these higher level skills are important in a globally interdependent world. I also realize that one tempting pedagogy for nurturing them is to cultivate a reluctance to make disapproving judgments and to affirm whatever differences one finds.
But it should not be surprising that many parents oppose such a pedagogy. One does not have to be a fundamentalist to worry that this is a way to teach empathy by implying that one religion, morality, or practice is as good as any other. If students think that they have no grounds for believing that others are wrong, they will eventually infer that they also have no grounds for thinking anyone is right (Gardner, 72, 76). When such relativism gets too closely associated with liberal tolerance and public school pedagogy, one can expect trouble.
One might try to cope with parental worries by asserting that "the child's right to an education must be seen as more fundamental than the parents' right to transmit their view of the world" (Kach and DeFaveri, 135). Perhaps then the school board could patiently explain to the parents how "those cultural groups that see children merely as means of perpetrating their culture and not as ends in themselves must be seen as morally flawed" (Kach and De Faveri, 175). But, whatever one thinks of this hardline Kantianism, its frank rejection of communitarian values in favor of individualism can hardly serve as an argument for being non-judgemental.
If one were somehow to cultivate the refusal to make negative cross-cultural evaluations, it could result in even more trouble. For one thing, it could provide rhetorical support for the violation of human rights by encouraging repressive regimes to classify toleration itself as little more than a Western hangup. As 34 Arab and Asian governments argued in the "Bangkok Declaration" at the Vienna Conference on Human Rights (June, 1993), the notion of human rights can itself be seen as relative to the cultural, religious, and historical diversity of nations, and therefore it should not be used "as an instrument of political pressures." One cultural difference has to do with the metaphysics of individuals and groups. If individuals are not the basic unit in society--if they are primarily parts of a group--then role expectations may be a more important value than individual rights. Moreover, the locus of diversity would be between groups rather than individuals and, in order to maintain group diversity, there may have to be definite limits on freedoms available to individuals within the groups. Indonesia, for example, has long toyed with the idea of banning Hollywood movies in order to maintain a distinctive cultural identity. One can sympathize with its Foreign Minister, who proclaimed at the Vienna Conference that "no country or group of countries should arrogate unto itself the role of judge, jury, and executioner over other countries" on such "critical and sensitive" issues. However, Indonesia also contains groups which practice an especially mutilating form of female circumcision (Sherwin, 61) and which cultivate female role responsibilities that, to Westerners, seem especially repressive. United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher, arguing at the conference for a new emphasis on women's rights, claimed that "We respect the religious, social and cultural characteristics that make each country unique, but we cannot let cultural relativism become the last refuge of repression." The question is how one can respect certain types of cultural diversity while, far from accepting them, be quite selective about tolerating them.
A related problem with a pedagogy that prefers tolerance as acceptance over toleration as endurance is that it has trouble with what has been called (Mendus, 18; Raphael, 149) the paradox of toleration: if I find that, in spite of my best efforts, I cannot approve of something, why should I tolerate it? If I am genuinely convinced that something is truly wrong, why shouldn't I try to persuade the majority to ban it? I believe the best answer is that sometimes my obligation to respect autonomy overrides my disapproval of another's behavior. But the pedagogical implication of this answer requires that we cultivate not the disposition to approve but the disposition (selectively) to endure what one disapproves. Then we can nurture strong convictions about right and wrong--even local loyalties and parochial solidarities--and still avoid dogmatic intolerance by teaching the appropriate role of tolerating (at least some of) the disagreeable. Therefore I conclude that we should teach toleration precisely because we should teach how to disagree.
So far I have suggested there is wisdom in keeping the disagreeable in the verb "tolerate" and the adjective "tolerant." Since these associate with both of the nouns "tolerance" and "toleration," I do not endorse the proposal (Fotion and Elfstrom) that "tolerance" mean "acceptance" and "toleration" mean "enduring." Rather, I think confusion is best avoided if all of these terms retain the root meaning of enduring something disagreeable. Moreover, we should notice that generally it is behavior, rather than persons or beliefs that are tolerated. Presumably the alternatives to enduring persons or (the mere holding of) beliefs are such drastic measures as death, banishment, or brainwashing, which generally are not realistic options in a pluralistic society. Hence I would like to see tolerance and toleration used interchangeably and defined as "I disagree with your position on this matter that I care about but I will not attempt to coerce your behavior." Intolerance, of course, does try to coerce behavior--either directly, through personal interference or, indirectly, by trying to make the behavior illegal or proscribed in some way. It is important to notice that tolerance is quite compatible with trying to change the other person's mind by rational argument. Indeed, if one were to speak of tolerating beliefs (as opposed to the behavior of communicating them), presumably one would mean something like "not try to change the other person's opinion by any means other than rational argument" (Kordig, 63).
Sometimes, especially in a pluralistic society, one can disagree with another's position and go beyond tolerance to cooperation. A cooperative stance says, "I may disagree with your decision but I will help you carry it out." Sometimes cooperation with what is disagreeable is motivated by timidity, moral cowardice, lack of integrity, or overeagerness to please. But sometimes it can derive from principled compromise (Benjamin) and from moral conviction as when, for example, a physician respects a patient's autonomy enough to abide by the patient's decisions even when they do not seem medically indicated. Notice that an uncooperative stance is not yet intolerance. A nurse can refuse to assist during an abortion without trying to prevent others from carrying it out. Of course, there can be borderline cases, as when a public resignation is intended to create pressure to change a policy. But, in general, tolerance is not sufficient for cooperation. (Nor is tolerance necessary for cooperation, since we can cooperate on matters about which we agree or toward which we are indifferent.)
Tolerance is not the same as resigning oneself to the disagreeable out of a sense of helplessness. To be tolerant implies that one believes (perhaps falsely) that one could interfere in some way with the disagreeable behavior. Of course, one could decide that coercion would come at too high a price, which decision could elicit a begrudging tolerance.
Tolerance is very different from refusal to blame and from forgiveness toward the blameworthy. We can be intolerant of the behavior of parents who, on religious grounds, refuse necessary medical treatment for their children and, at the same time, either refuse to blame them or forgive them if we do. And we can blame and refuse to forgive pornographers while tolerating (within limits) their behavior. Similarly, sympathy and empathy cut across tolerance and intolerance.
Having surveyed the conceptual geography of tolerance and having restricted it to disagreeable behavior that we endure, we need another notion to capture what is undeniably an important part of pluralism and of political liberalism, namely the willingness to admit that views we disagree with can still be entirely respectable. Although intelligent people may vary somewhat on their (largely implicit) standards for what makes positions respectable, there is likely to be a fair amount of overlap on such common-sense criteria as consistency, clarity, comprehensiveness, plausibility, and practicality. These criteria allow us to endorse a position's adequacy without endorsing its truth (Rescher, 243). What makes a position respectable includes not just the propositional content of the belief but also the way in which the believer arrived at and defends the belief. The content of one's horoscope may be fairly intelligent, but most of us would regard as irrational believing it solely on the say-so of a fortune-teller (unless, of course, the latter has proved much more reliable than most soothsayers). Similarly, one might find implausible the content of another's religious belief about karma and reincarnation, but admit that the other's believing it is quite reasonable. So what I call the attitude of respect applies more to believings than to beliefs or believers. You can disrespect a particular position without disrespecting the person who holds it, though if you could not respect a fairly high percentage of a person's positions it probably would have implications for your attitude toward that person's character. Similarly, I could hold you in high regard and still think that you hold a few (perhaps charmingly) irrational views.
I suggest we characterize an attitude of respect as "I (may) disagree with your position but I believe that it is reasonable." As Rawls (48-54) has lately argued, "reasonable" has some moral as well as intellectual bite. Perhaps in some narrow sense a purely selfish decision could be rational, but a reasonable decision, while not necessarily altruistic, is sensitive to the interests of others; it has as much to do with Kant's practical reason as his theoretical reason. Rawls seems to build a commitment to equality right into the notion of reasonable(50), but I think that an intrinsic concern for others can be expressed in undemocratic ways. Hence some forms of theocracy or monarchy can be perfectly respectable positions. By the same token, respectable positions can evaluate each other as respectable but harmful to the public good. Thus, I claim that you can grant that a decision is respectable, and therefore reasonable, without accepting it, approving it, or even liking it. Indeed, you can be intolerant of it, as illustrated by the previous example of physicians who get a court order to override what they may regard as a respectable decision by parents who, on religious grounds, refuse to allow a life-saving medical treatment for their young child. Noticing that respect and intolerance can be combined is socially important in a pluralistic society where even friends sometimes have to let political force decide a dispute between themselves. On the other hand, you can tolerate and even cooperate with a position you do not respect, as when you work with knaves or fools to defeat a common opponent. Noticing that disrespect and tolerance and cooperation can be combined may also be important in a pluralistic society where even enemies sometimes have to join forces to win a political dispute.
The attitude of respect requires one to be open-minded enough to understand and even appreciate the reasonableness of diverse and contradictory views. But it does not require Mill's broadminded delight in and affirmation of diversity. I submit that this latter feature of respect is a distinct advantage in a pluralistic society. We now know that our differences will remain deep and wide, that resolutions are more often the result of compromising than of convincing, and that sometimes sheer political power must be exercised. Instead of hoping for increasing consensus about the good, we are now trying to figure out how "incompatible yet reasonable comprehensive doctrines" (Rawls, xvi) can coexist in one quarrelsome but non-violent political union. What reasonable citizens owe each other's views is not broadminded agreement, affirmation, approval, or admiration but openminded respect and, when appropriate, tolerance and cooperation. Even when tolerance seems inappropriate, as it does to some of the factions in the abortion conflict (who try to prevent violation of what each side regards as basic rights, by directly or indirectly interfering with each other's activities), opponents can grant that some of the opposing views are reasonable. Such recognition could at least raise the level of the debate, enhance civility, and perhaps even motivate the search for common ground.
Assuming that people should follow their conscience when it is reasonable, respect should be interpreted as what has been called "moral non-dogmatism" (Cohen, 150). This is the view that if I believe your position is reasonable, then I should agree that you ought to try to do what you think is right. ("Try to" is necessary in the definition because, as noted earlier, I may also decide I ought not tolerate your reasonable but wrong behavior.) Moral non-dogmatism has been rejected by some (Cohen, 159) because it seems to contradict the central moral criterion of universalizability. When we make a moral judgment, we universalize it because we agree that anyone who is in a relevantly similar situation is permitted or obliged to do what we think we are permitted or obliged to do. This is what distinguishes morality from mere matters of taste, one can plausibly argue. But if respect is interpreted as moral non-dogmatism, then when I respectfully disagree with your position I seem to say both that if I were in your position I would not do what you think is right and that you ought to try to do what you think is right. So if I respect your decision and I also universalize my moral judgment about what I should not do, I seem to say both that you should and that you should not try to do what you think is right.
I believe that the above argument is unsound for the same reason that universalizability does not entail specific universal obligations. People are often in relevantly different situations, so universalizability does not entail that they have the same specific obligations. And your having a different but reasonable position from mine will often put us in relevantly different situations. Of course, if having any sort of different beliefs would put us in relevantly different situations, universalizability would be trivialized. Saddam Hussein would have different obligations toward the Kurds just because he believes they do not have moral rights. But respect applies only to reasonable believings, so it implies only that different reasonable believings can put us in relevantly different moral situations. Therefore I think that the non-dogmatic interpretation of respect is consistent with universalizability and that using it can be socially important in a divided but non-violent pluralistic state. It can enable us to honor the consciences of those with whom we disagree, even when we feel obliged to oppose them.
Sometimes respect, like tolerance, is associated with uncertainty, skepticism, relativism, or even nihilism. However, it should be clear that one can respect or tolerate a position and simultaneously believe that one knows the objective truth that the position is wrong. Of course living in a pluralism of respectable yet conflicting doctrines is likely to elicit the humility of admitting that one might be wrong. And a powerful argument for tolerance is that it can be an instrument for correcting the human tendency to make mistakes (Popper). But we can admit that we might be wrong and still believe that we are right. We can also admit we have a lot to learn from discussion with those who hold conflicting views and still believe that our own view is closest to the truth. We can even believe we do not have anything to learn from another position and still regard it as worthy of respectful discussion. I grant that those who reject the notions of objective truth or knowledge can give pragmatic justifications for respect and tolerance, but I think it is important in a pluralistic society to see that also those who believe they know right from wrong can respect and tolerate some positions and behaviors they believe are wrong.
I noted earlier that Fotion and Elfstrom say that in liberal doctrine there are good reasons for encouraging the replacement of tolerating diversity with the approval of it. I should also note that they recognize reasons for keeping "the prickly and uncomfortable concept of toleration in the liberal pantheon" (131). In particular, they say, there will always be groups like the Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and pornographers who are "genuinely despicable and worthless" (131) but who ought to be tolerated anyway. Moreover, precisely because of its dark side, tolerating them implies no compromise of one's convictions--one is enduring, not affirming, such groups.
However, I hope I have shown that it is a better idea to recognize the various combinations of respect, tolerance, and cooperation (and their opposites) and to appreciate, if not celebrate, the disagreeable side of tolerance. This conceptual framework recognizes the important fact that in a pluralistic society there will be a diversity of respectable yet conflicting outlooks and that sometimes one must combine respect and intolerance. For example, even if the factions in the abortion dispute restrict themselves to "public reasons" (which liberals insist on as the way to keep church and state separate) when arguing their case, there will be respectable positions on opposite sides and, at some point, political power may have to decide which activities will not be tolerated. Meanwhile, keeping the social fabric in usable shape depends on the factions being able to take a political stand without pushing all of their opponents into the same boat with Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. By keeping it clear that it is behaviors, not people, that are intolerable, and that even respectable positions can sometimes yield behavior that the majority has good reason not to tolerate, we can perhaps make sense of Warren Christopher's reply to Indonesia: we respect your religious and cultural traditions but we will not allow even a respectable tradition to become the refuge of repression.
The last point underscores how much remains unsettled, even if my conceptual framework is accepted. What are the legitimate reasons for intolerance? Can "harm to others" be explicated by "public reasons" or does it require a thicker theory of the good? Are the reasons different in different contexts, such as interpersonal, professional, community, national, and international contexts? Appreciating the disagreeable in tolerance is only the first step in answering such questions.
Benjamin, Martin. Splitting the Difference: Compromise and Integrity in Ethics and Politics. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1990.
Cohen, Brenda. "An Ethical Paradox." Mind LXXVI (April, 1967): 250-59.
Dworkin, Ronald, Life's Dominion. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.
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Fotion, Nick, and Gerard Elfstrom. Toleration. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1992.
Gardner, Peter. "Propositional Attitudes and Multicultural Education, or Believing Others are Mistaken." Toleration: Philosophy and Practice. John Horton and Peter Nicholson, eds. Aldershot: Avebury, 1992.
Hanvey, Robert G. An Attainable global Perspective. 1976.
Jackson, Jennifer. "Intolerance on the Campus." Toleration: Philosophy and Practice. John Horton and Peter Nicholson, eds. Aldershot: Avebury, 1992.
Kach, N., and I. DeFaveri. "What Every Teacher Should Know About Multiculturalism." Contmporary Educational Issues: The Canadian Mosaic, ed. L. L. Stewin and S.J.H. McCann. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1987.
Kordig, Carl R. "Concepts of Toleration." Journal of Value Inquiry 16 (1982): 59-66.
Langerak, Edward. "Values Education and Learning to Disagree." Values in Teaching and Professional Ethics. Carlton T. Mitchell, ed. Mercer University Press, 1989: 135-148.
______. Christian Faith, Health, and Medical Practice. Co-authored with Hessel Bouma, Douglas Diekema, Theodore Rottman, and Allen Verhey. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989.
Locke, John. A Letter Concerning Toleration. First publishred 1689. Trans. William Popple. Hackett Publishing Co., 1983
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______. Heart and Mind. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1981.
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Wolff, Robert Paul, Barrington Moore, Jr., and Herbert Marcuse. A Critique of Pure Tolerance. Boston: Beacon Press, 1969.
 I have defended such a theological grounding of respect for autonomy in Christian Faith, Health, and Medical Practice (57-66).
 Mill thought that encouraging diversity was necessary for progress because only by exposure to diversity could one escape the confines of tradition(54). He thought it was sufficient because he believed in the perfectibility of humans--that they would, in the long run, choose the better options (60 and 61, 67). Some commentators (Edwards, 94; Megone, 140) note the tension in Mill between his celebration of diversity and his belief that, as society is challenged by diversity, it will move toward the truth and thereby toward conformity of belief (Mill, 42). I suspect Mill thought that conformity on matters of truth was compatible with diversity in lifestyles and that the latter would always be necessary to nurture the best in human nature.
 As I note later, they do recognize a remaining role for toleration.
 As quoted by Dwight Boyd in The Challenge of Pluralism, F. Clark Power and Daniel Lapsley, eds., University of Notre Dame Press, 1992, pp. 155-56.
 The information about and quotations from this conference come from a Washington Post report printed in the Minnesota Star-Tribune, 6/15/1993, p. 2A.
 "Intoleration" is hardly ever used, which is another reason for using tolerance and toleration interchangeably.
 Jackson (31) agrees that what reasonable people believe depends on social context so she defines "reasonable" in terms of a "credentials test" that applies to the believer rather than the belief. The believer must be well-informed, reflective, clear-headed, and of apparent good will(30). Since such a believer can still have unreasonable believings, I think it is better to apply "reasonable" to believings or positions. Rawls(48) defines "reasonable" primarily as a virtue of believers, though he also lists three elements of reasonable doctrines(59). Making the (counterfactual?) assumption that reasonable persons affim only reasonable doctrines, he notes that a reasonable doctrine can be affirmed in an unreasonable way but it is still reasonable if it can be affirmed in a reasonable way(60n). I think it is clearer to apply "reasonable" to believings but all I note here is that my notion of respectable overlaps Rawls' notion of reasonable.
 We can easily cooperate with a believing that was arrived at foolishly but has acceptable content, such as when we cooperate with those who believe the message in a fortune cookie. And we can give pragmatic or pedagogical reasons for sometimes cooperating with the foolish decisions of co-workers or children, at least when the foolishness is not dangerous. But I think one can also give moral reasons for sometimes cooperating with, say, a foolish order from a superior. My students who are nurses have given me a number of examples in which cooperation involved little risk to third parties whereas uncooperation would have caused significant harm. Of course, when significant risk to patients is involved, the appropriate attitude is probably uncooperation or even intolerance.
 By "openminded" I do not mean Gardner's (69) notion of entertaining a belief without either believing or disbelieving it. One can be openminded toward a position one regards as wrong by trying carefully to understand it as possibly respectable.
 In my two publications listed in the Works Cited (both of which overlap some of my discussion here concerning respect, tolerance, and cooperation), I argue that six (rather than eight) combinations are possible and plausible. I rejected as incoherent any combination involving intolerance and cooperation. I have become convinced that my rejection depends on debatable views concerning the identity and description of events and actions. A few years ago, Minneapolis police chief Tony Bouza regularly had his officers arrest his wife, Erica, when she would join war protesters blocking the driveways of the Honeywell Corporation. He would also cooperatively give her a ride from home to the protest site. I've always interpreted his stance as a combination of respect, intolerance, and uncooperation, much like that of a judge who admires the view of a conscientious objector but, as a judge, sends her to prison anyway. (Erica Bouza spent several weeks in the county workhouse.) However, others have insisted to me that they can give a description of such activities which combines intolerance and cooperation in a coherent way. Incidentally, that marriages such as the Bouzas can both survive and even thrive has always struck me as confirming the wisdom of sometimes combining respect and intolerance.
 This point is underscored in Life's Dominion, Ronald Dworkin's recent analysis of the abortion dispute.
 I thank Steve Evans, Rick Fairbanks, and Charles Taliaferro for giving helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.
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