What is Pragmatics?
Pragmatics is the study of how language works, how we make sense of words, and how we communicate. It focuses on the relationship between speakers and their messages, and is a branch of linguistics that is closely related to semantics. Pragmatics, however, is different from semantics in that it examines how language works by taking into account the context and the relationships among signs.
Pragmatic people seek solutions that are practical and do not involve abstract theories. These people tend to be more realistic than idealists, and they strive for practical solutions. They believe that the development of understanding must be based on practical application, and sound knowledge should be obtained through thinking. In addition, pragmatic thinking emphasizes inquiry and scrutinizing a problem in order to arrive at the best possible solution.
A number of liberatory philosophical projects have drawn on the pragmatism tradition. But the intellectual center of pragmatism is moving away from North America, and research networks are developing in Asia, South America, Scandinavia, and central Europe. Consequently, pragmatism is becoming a more global phenomenon.
While pragmatic language is a major part of language and communication, it can be hard to notice unless you are looking for it. Many pragmatic language users appear socially normal but may have a hard time developing close friendships, participating in team sports, or holding a job. Because of their lack of charisma, they may even be passed over for opportunities. In most cases, these people have autistic spectrum disorder or some other intellectual or developmental disability.
While classical pragmatists emphasized the importance of “experience” as a metaphysical property, neopragmatism rejects this notion. Brandom focuses on the “meaning” of language and on the relationship between’saying’ and ‘doing’.
In 1870, Peirce introduced the concept of pragmatism as a third alternative to ‘Continental’ and ‘analytic’ philosophy. He was followed by William James, who further developed the concept. The early pragmatism of Charles Sanders Peirce and William James had an influential influence on the scientific revolution that centered around evolution.
Pragmatic approaches are a form of research focused on finding and using the most appropriate method for a given situation. Instead of arguing about which method is best, pragmatic researchers focus on practical decisions based on ‘what will work’ rather than what will be best for a particular problem. This allows for innovative research designs and methods that are not limited by the limitations of one method.