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Funding on offer for new University of York Masters on toleration

Posted on 1 July 2013

The University of York is to offer 10 scholarships for a new MA in Political and Legal Theory: Toleration, designed to explore toleration from historical, legal and philosophical perspectives.

Starting this October, the new Masters course will provide students with the chance to examine the arguments for toleration made by thinkers such as John Locke, Pierre Bayle and John Stuart Mill, as well as the arguments against. Students will test the limits of these arguments in discussions of controversial issues such as pornography, faith schools and Holocaust denial.

The MA is a collaboration between the Departments of Politics and Philosophy and the York Law School. Scholarships covering home/EU tuition fees are available through the generosity of the C & JB Morrell Trust. The deadline for applications is Friday, 12 July.

Professor Matt Matravers, from the University’s Department of Politics, said: “In September 2005 the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed, an action that led to violent protests by Muslims all over the world. Critics argued that the cartoons were culturally insulting, Islamophobic, blasphemous and intended to humiliate a marginalised Danish minority. Supporters defend the newspaper's right to free speech.

“The example highlights the vital importance of questions of toleration to modern multicultural societies. To what extent should we tolerate actions and ideas that people may find offensive? Does the idea of free speech require us to tolerate everything? What are the limits to tolerance in a modern, pluralist society?”

The new MA also gives students the chance to explore fundamental questions in political and legal theory. For example, how can people with different views on the good life live together without conflict? What is law and what makes it distinctive? What are the relations of morality and law?

Further information about the new MA is available at, while more information about the scholarships on offer can be found at

Notes to editors:

Contact details

Caron Lett
Press Officer

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