JOSEPH MARGOLIS’S NEO-PRAGMATISMVolf M.N., Kosarev A.V.
The paper presents the evolution of pragmatism, with an emphasis on its third stage which is called neo-pragmatism. The paper considers the specific features of this stage in the light of the philosophy of Joseph Margolis. The paper demonstrates that Margolis takes part in all relevant discussions of this philosophical movement, first of all, about the relationship of realism and relativism and about the nature of the truth. The question about the nature of the truth related to the problem of incommensurability and alethic relativism, and Margolis offers his own version of this kind of relativism – the robust relativism. The article discusses these issues in general. A more detailed analysis the authors provide for the Margolis’s solution of the problem of the realism and relativism compatibility. On the one hand, Margolis firmly stays on relativistic positions. On the other hand, he argues that it is possible to defend realism against relativistic attacks but only if to reconcile these two trends. Margolis offers two strategies for doing this. He implements the first strategy through the clarification of the nature of skepticism. He formulates the form of realism which could resist to skepticism, it ought to satisfy the main statements of neopragmatism. Such a kind of realism Margolis calls minimal realism. The second strategy appeals to practices and activities and it is implemented through the actual survival and viability of the human species that is closely related to the historicity of human existence. For the last strategy Margolis offers two ways as well, the pragmatic and epistemic ones. The epistemic way allows to legitimize realism through an appeal to the technology, the existence and the use of which indicates human cognitive competence about external world. The pragmatic way legitimizes realism through the successful interventions of collective human knowledge in different structures of the world. Summarizing the authors draw a conclusion, that Margolis tries to occupy a middle position between two poles – absolutism (foundationalism) and relativism, which are presented most clearly in the pragmatists dispute between Putnam and Rorty, and thereby he tries to eliminate the differences between these two tendencies in contemporary philosophy.