Tolerance and criticality: intolerance to falsehood




tolerance, conditions of tolerance, critical thinking, critical evaluation, limits of tolerance, fake, misinformation, disinformation


Tolerance has limits. Tolerance is an attitude that recognizes the other as equal but different. If we cannot distinguish between false and different, we may end up with counterfeit tolerance. In order to make such a distinction, we have to accompany tolerance with critical evaluation. If the conditions for the functioning of tolerance are violated and the corresponding attitude toward social practices continues to be called tolerance, we can obtain an unlimited tolerance that applies to everything. This kind of pseudo-tolerance is based on indifference or incompetence, but not on critical evaluation. There is also a forced tolerance for which there is no reason other than some kind of coercion. Neither is tolerance, even though they are called by the same term and can be applied in similar situations.

Tolerance supports the norm. Tolerance as a social phenomenon has an unobvious consequence - it changes the status of the tolerated phenomenon by bringing it to the level of social acceptance and later approval. Tolerance sanctions the tolerated phenomenon as a permissible other that cannot be criticized and can be accepted. With pseudo-tolerance, there is a danger that some phenomena will be accepted as socially acceptable for no reason. However, such phenomena directly destroy the environment of tolerance. For example: justifiable violence or harmless lies.

Not everything is tolerable. There are certain social practices that cannot be tolerated because they are not other but wrong or dangerous. The question of the possibility of tolerating social practices requires the use of critical thinking to find and apply appropriate criteria. Fake, lies, and misinformation cannot be tolerated because they destroy the conditions of tolerance in the epistemic community. They create irremovable epistemic alternatives that diminish the cognitive status of knowledge in general, thereby causing the degradation of the epistemic environment. To preserve the opportunity to be tolerant, we must worry about how we can maintain an environment in which we can be tolerant. Likewise, to be able to acquire knowledge, we must care for the epistemic environment in which we can do so productively.


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Author Biography

Nadiia Kozachenko, Kryvyi Rih State Pedagogical University

Department of Philosophy


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How to Cite

Kozachenko Н. (2022). Tolerance and criticality: intolerance to falsehood. Actual Problems of Mind, (23), 243–265.