What is Pragmatic Philosophy?
Pragmatic is a philosophical theory of how people use language to convey information in a context-dependent manner. It encompasses a broad range of topics, from how people interpret words to how they communicate their meanings in the course of an interaction. Pragmatics is often viewed as an alternative to semantics, a similar but more narrow branch of philosophy that deals with the literal meaning of words in a particular context.
The concept of pragmatics has roots in philosophy, sociology and anthropology. As a field, pragmatics is interdisciplinary and has been influenced by both continental philosophy and the various social sciences. Morris, in a 1938 essay on the subject, defined pragmatics as “the science which deals with the relation of signs to those objects which they may or do denote, and with the manner in which they are used by their interpreters.” (Pragmatism Cybrary) Sociology and anthropology have been central influences on pragmatics because of the role that human society and culture play in the interpretation of communication.
One of the core concepts in pragmatics is that meanings have a predictive component. Meanings are not just the resulting products of a person’s utterance, but also the ways in which they are used to achieve specific goals. This theory of communication has a significant impact on the field of speech act theory and the theory of conversational implicature.
Other pragmatists, such as Peirce and James, focused on the idea that a person’s interpretation of reality is informed by the needs of his or her life. If a belief, hypothesis or theory does not meet an individual’s life goals, it will be rejected by the person as false.
This pragmatic perspective on truth has some interesting implications. It suggests that even if an argument is technically correct, it may not be valid for a given situation. This is because, as the pragmatic theory of truth argues, what is true in a particular situation may be different from what is true in another.
A more recent development in pragmatics is computational linguistics, which is a subfield of artificial intelligence that seeks to improve the ability of computer systems to understand human language and meaning. This field has made great strides in a very short amount of time. For example, researchers are now able to teach computers to recognize certain grammatical patterns that indicate what type of statement the speaker is making. This technology is becoming more commonplace as scientists attempt to make computers as intelligent as possible. It is hoped that the more sophisticated artificially intelligent computers become, the more they can assist in solving real world problems. This will help to reduce the amount of human intervention that is needed, which in turn should lead to a lower cost of living for humans. This is a major goal of pragmatics, and is reflected in its name: pragmatics, which means the “practical” or “sensible” aspect of philosophical ideas. This approach to truth has some obvious applications in evaluating arguments and policies, both in government and business.