In this remarkable book, Joseph Margolis, one of America's leading and most celebrated philosophers, examines the relationship between two apparently contradictory philosophical tendencies - realism and relativism. In order to examine the relationship between the two, Margolis establishes a taxonomy of different kinds of realism and different kinds of relativism. Drawing on both the analytic and Continental traditions, he examines (from a pragmatic point of view) the various relationships between these two tendencies in the light of two major developments in modern philosophy - the concern for praxis and the concern for historicity. Twenty years after it was first published to great acclaim, Margolis has updated "Pragmatism Without Foundations" in the light of his most recent work and the development of pragmatism in the intellectual world. This second edition includes an updated preface and a brand new epilogue addressing these developments and their implications for his earlier work.
Joseph Margolis is Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy at Temple University. His most recent publications include Re-inventing Pragmatism (2002), The Unraveling fo Scientism (2003), Moral Philosophy after 9/11 (2004) and Introduction to Philosophical Problems (2006).
Preface; Acknowledgements; Prologue: A sense of the issue; Introduction; Part One: The Defense and Application of Relativism; 1. The nature and strategies of relativism; 2. Historicism and universalism; 3. Objectivism and relativism; 4. Rationality and realism; 5. Realism and relativism; Part Two: Foundations and the recovery of pragmatism; 6. The legitimation of realism; 7. Pragmatism without foundations; 8. A sense of rapprochement between Analytic and Continental European philosophy; 9. Cognitive issues in the realist-idealist dispute; 10. Skepticism, foundationalism, and pragmatism; 11. Scientific realism as a transcendental issue; Epilogue; Index.