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The Popperian Podcast

Sep 30, 2022

This episode of the Popperian Podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with James Kierstead. From The Open Society and Its Enemies, later essays, and private letters, they speak about the meaning behind Karl Popper’s ‘paradox of tolerance’: “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them…We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.”

James Kierstead is a Senior Lecturer in Classics at Victoria University and a Research Fellow at the New Zealand Initiative. Together with Michael Johnston he co-hosts Free Kiwis!, a podcast dedicated to issues to do with freedom and free speech in a New Zealand context. He tweets @Kleisthenes2

*** The Limits of Toleration The Limits of Toleration - Open Inquiry

*** Free Kiwis! (James Kierstead - YouTube).

*** You can follow James Kierstead’s ongoing work at: James Kierstead | Victoria University of Wellington - and James Kierstead Profile | Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington (


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*** Underlying artwork by Arturo Espinosa