The Definition of Pragmatism
A pragmatist is a person who is self-reflective and not judgmental. They do not believe in the importance of appearances but value truth. Their main argument is that appearances are superficial. It is a fact that people with shallow character do not judge others by appearances. In this article, I will explain what a pragmatist means by the term. Here are some examples. Hopefully you will find the definition of pragmatism useful.
The word pragma means “thing” in greek. This is because a pragmatical approach is concerned with definite and concrete outcomes. Conversely, a non-pragmatic approach focuses on subjective factors, such as ideology and desires. If the latter are not considered, then the utterance is not pragmatic. Consequently, it is not logical to conclude that the meaning of an utterance is determined by the intention of the speaker or listener.
The definition of a pragmatist is based on the way in which children develop pragmatic language. Children in the United States may not understand signs that signify “stop” or “respect” when they see them in other cultures. In other countries, such as in Greece, a simple sign that means “slow down” is a highly insulting gesture. For children with language disorders, role playing situations can help them learn pragmatic language.
A pragmaticist will consider context to determine whether a phrase is pragmatic or not. Using context to determine meaning, “I have two sons” is a pragmatist’s best bet. If the phrase was pragmatistically interpreted without regard to its context, “I have two sons” would be a more complex answer. Its ambiguity, however, doesn’t prevent a pragmaticist from interpreting the phrase as an affix.
A pragmatist rejects the Cartesian quest for absolute truth and aims to treat all beliefs as working hypotheses. According to Descartes, no statement of the world is absolutely certain. It is necessary to treat all beliefs as “working hypotheses” that may need revision or rejection depending on future experience and inquiry. While the concept of fallibility is not entirely wrong, it is still a mistake because it leaves room for alternative explanations.
There are several other pragmatists who have influenced Western intellectual history. The first group of pragmatists was dominated by John Dewey, a major figure in American intellectual life. After him, pragmatism lost momentum. The second group of pragmatists focused on politics, education, and social change. One such philosopher is Jane Addams, who founded the profession of social work and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
Other influential philosophers have written about the Pragmatic movement. For example, William James’s work influenced Stuhr’s. This book is a must-read. The second group includes Robert Menand and John Stuhr. They edited Pragmatism and Classical American Philosophy, as well as A Guide to Practicing Philosophy. Both authors wrote books that are excellent sources for anyone interested in Pragmatism. However, if you want to learn more about Pragmatism, I recommend reading The American Philosopher.