Academic Forum

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Frank Furedi: Fear, terrorism and tolerance

Sociologist Frank Furedi became world-famous for his studies on fear. In this master class he will combine this with themes of terrorism, public space and tolerance. First reactions by Michiel Bot and Peter Achterberg.

Program information
Date 15 April, 2016
Time 15:30-17:45 hrs. Walk in 15:15 hrs.
Location Black Box, Esplanade Building, Tilburg University
Admission Only students. Free entrance, registration required: registration.
Lecturer Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology, University of Kent. First reactions by Michiel Bot and Peter Achterberg.
In corperation with Dag van de Filosofie, Extra Muros, Versot and Sapientia Ludenda.
Contact Has Klerx

Frank Furedi

Frank Furedi is a Britisch sociologist of Hungarian descent (Boedapest, 1947). He is said to be the most cited sociologist in the British Press. He got worldwide attention with his book Culture of Fear. Updated edition published by Continuum, March 2002 (first published April 1997).

Dare To Know | Prof. Frank Furedi | TEDxLimassol

How to respond to terrorism?

Fear has become an ever-expanding part of life in the West in the twenty-first century. We live in terror of disease, abuse, stranger danger, environmental devastation and last but not least terrorist onslaught. Terrorists can cause devastation. They want the public to panic. How to respond to the Paris and Brussels’ massacres?

The public should be encouraged to behave in a way that shows we refuse to be terrorized. This also means fighting back as was the case in the French train when passengers disarmed the terrorist. Appeasement must be avoided. European societies  need to mobilize their moral and intellectual resources to stress the democratic and secular humanist values.

Can we tolerate intolerance?

Has tolerance gone too far? By raising this question it is said that tolerance can be rationed and made available only to those who share our moral universe. People find it difficult to resist the temptation of adopting a double standard and find some persuasive reason for not tolerating someone else’s right to communicate their obnoxious views. The banning of certain forms of speech through laws in hate speech and incitement of religious hatred is justified as a necessary measure for protecting individuals and groups from the harm of intolerance. The claim that intolerance is best countered with more intolerance communicates the feeble status that society assigns to real tolerance. Tolerance is a virtue  because it takes people very seriously. The capacity to tolerate views of which one disapproves is based on the conviction that this virtue provides an opportunity for testing out ideas and confronting ethical dilemmas. From this standpoint, tolerance of beliefs that we really hate is a very small price to pay for society’s intellectual and moral development.


This masterclass is organized by Academic Forum, with the corporation of Dag van de Filosofie (Day of Philosophy), and study associations Extra Muros, Versot and Sapientia Ludenda.

When: 15 April 2016 15:30

End date: 15 April 2016 17:45