What is Pragmatic Philosophy?
Pragmatic is a philosophy that focuses on results and consequences rather than what could be or should be. This type of philosophy can be found in business, sports and many other areas. If you believe in pragmatism, you might find it easier to believe that something is valid if it has been proven to work in practice than in theory or in an experiment. This allows you to be open-minded about different beliefs and not be shaken if they don’t work for you anymore.
The philosophical approach of pragmatism is sometimes called American pragmatism because many of its proponents were Americans. However, the idea of pragmatism is widespread in Western culture and is part of many traditions. It can be traced to ancient Greece and India, as well as to the Renaissance period of philosophy.
Many pragmatists focused on human needs and desires in the development of ideas, concepts, and theories. They also emphasized the plastic nature of reality and how it was shaped by action. Unlike some philosophers, pragmatists did not see change as a negative or inevitable phenomenon, but saw it as something that could be controlled and directed for individual and social benefit.
While some pragmatists viewed the nature of truth as an unavoidable consequence of our ability to verify beliefs, others were more skeptical about this notion. Peirce, for example, argued that truth was not simply the correspondence of a proposition with an actual state of affairs; it was, more specifically, the extent to which any conception has practical effects. He also emphasized that the process of verification itself is a form of knowledge.
For other pragmatists, the concept of pragmatic validity was even more significant. They viewed truth as the extent to which an idea or belief works in the pursuit of some goal or in the struggle with nature. In short, they regarded truth as what is actually effective in inquiry and experience.
Most pragmatists held that pragmatic validity is an essential part of the concept of truth, although they disagreed about the precise meaning of this phrase. For some, such as William James and John Dewey, truth is the successful functioning of a belief in a given situation. Others, such as Charles S. Peirce, equated it with the limit towards which endless investigation would tend to bring scientific belief.
Generally speaking, the concept of pragmatic validity is the closest thing that pragmatists have to a unified theory of meaning. In general, they believe that there are two kinds of content in an utterance: the reflexive content and the referential content. The former is determined by the conventional meanings of words and their modes of composition. The latter, on the other hand, involves all those factors that are not determined by semantics (such as the resolution of ambiguity or vagueness, indexicals and demonstratives, and anaphors). For this reason, some pragmatists believe that the notion of pragmatic validity encompasses both the near-side and the far-side of meaning.