The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics
Margolis’s methodology is best located in the pragmatic tradition, broadly construed. His pragmatism lies in his commitment to understanding the world as part of collective and consensual human practice and situated interaction; his embracing of the changing nature of history and science; and his approach to human knowledge as constructed.
In particular this pragmatic bent is evidenced by his affinity for Charles Sanders Peirce’s semeiotics, by which thought shows us the real world through the interpretation of signs and symbols, the existence of mind legitimated as “objective” and “real.” Margolis also uses Peirce’s theory of predicative generals (as constructed but existent place-holders that focus discourse) in place of universals (as metaphysically fixed and existent types) as a way to discuss the discursive and indeterminate natures of what he considers to be inherently interpretable and significant properties of cultural artifacts (to be described more fully as Intentional properties of artworks).
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Oxford University Press
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Bresnahan, Aili W., "Joseph Margolis" (2014). Philosophy Faculty Publications. 5.