The Philosophy of Pragmatism
The philosophy of pragmatism originated in the United States, around 1870. Its origins can be traced to the Metaphysical Club, a group of Harvard-educated men who met for informal philosophical discussions in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Members of the club included proto-positivist Chauncey Wright and future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Other notable pragmatists included logician Charles Sanders Peirce and philosopher William James.
The study of pragmatics focuses on the practical aspects of human thought and action. Instead of looking at the literal meaning of utterances, pragmatics also considers implied meanings and the possibility of meaning in a given situation. Pragmatics is the basis of language interaction, since it considers what others interpret as meaning. Without the pragmatics approach, a person would have little understanding of language. However, by understanding the psychology of language, we can understand better the different aspects of it.
Despite its name, pragmatic is a highly descriptive term that describes the philosophy of doing what works. It is derived from Greek pragmatikos,’relating to fact,’ and prattein, ‘do.’ This word is often associated with political figures, but is also used to refer to philosophers and politicians. It has many other definitions, including practical, grounded, and logical. In our current times, we live in a world where people are expected to think practically and act in a way that is in their best interests.
Some of the most important works on the philosophy of action can be found in books on the subject. There is the Genealogical Pragmatic Philosophy by J.J. Stuhr. Another classic book on pragmatism is The Pragmatic Philosophy of William James. Some scholars argue that it is the most comprehensive and relevant approach to contemporary philosophical thought. Its authors were influenced by the American philosopher H.S. West, who also published The American Evasion of Philosophy.
Although pragmatic language is an essential part of communication, it can be difficult to detect in some children. Children who lack pragmatic language skills may appear socially functioning, but are unable to make close friendships. They may have difficulties working in groups and may be passed over for job opportunities because of charismatic peers and stronger social skills. If you suspect your child might have pragmatic language weaknesses, you should get him or her evaluated by a speech-language pathologist. However, remember that pragmatic language is a broad topic. As you work with your child, more interactions will strengthen pragmatic language skills.
Various pragmatists have argued against foundationalism. For example, James and Dewey argue that true hypotheses are those that will be useful to people. Likewise, Peirce believes that true opinions are the ones that inquirers accept at the end of the inquiry. So, how do we distinguish true opinions from false ones? Well, there is no easy answer. The key is in the definition. We need to understand what pragmatists are talking about.