The Radical Nature of Margolis' Relativism

Journal of Philosophical Research 21:81-93 (1996)
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Joseph Margolis advances a view which he purports to be relativist in both the book and the article “The Truth About Relativism”. He develops this view in opposition to what he calls “relationalism”. Relationalism, however, is very much like what has traditionally been called “relativism”. Thus, in developing his view, Margolis distances himself from relativism as traditionally understood. Given this, the present article aims to determine the following: a) whether and how Margolis’ position is a relativist position; and b) whether Margolis’ position is substantially different from the relationalist view from which he purports to depart. I argue that Margolis’ position is only relativist in part and that the relativistic aspect of his theory is essentially the relationalist position he is determined to avoid



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