Joseph Margolis- Pragmatist Realism Viewing Human Culture and Historicity


CONTEMPORARY PRAGMATISM, vol.19, pp.126-136, 2022 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1163/18758185-bja10041
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Philosopher's Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.126-136
  • Keywords: Margolis, historicity, humanism, relativism, morality
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In his long and productive life Joseph Margolis approached many subjects that had been the concern of philosophy all through history. However, when his texts are read carefully it is clear that his main interest was to understand humanity and its cultural values. In my text I will first introduce Margolis philosophy in general and the underlying premises that he defended throughout his work, moving on to specific claims and arguments. I will pursue my analysis through several of Margolis' texts concerning his main philosophical arguments, such as the definition of the human, relativity, ethics and aesthetics. Margolis was a prolific writer who developed his philosophy in consecutive phases, arriving in his later years to arguments that became more pointed as well as far reaching in scope. Margolis' reasoning and argumentation proceeds in three steps: defining the problem at hand, understanding the reasonings applicable to his claim and to opposing views, reaching a solution suitable and appropriate according to the context.