What Is Pragmatic Philosophy?
Pragmatic is an adjective that describes someone who has a practical approach to problems. It means they see the world as a series of tasks and challenges that need to be tackled in order for things to work well, rather than dreaming of what could be or how the world should be. People who are pragmatic tend to act rather than talk about acting, and they get things done.
The notion of pragmatism, as used in the context of philosophical inquiry, is closely associated with John Dewey’s philosophy. It is a philosophy of action in which the primary aim of inquiry is to produce something that will be useful for real people in their everyday lives. The idea is that this something can be anything from a piece of music to a policy proposal, and that it must be produced in a way that is open to criticism and modification as new information comes to light.
A related concept is the theory of pragmatics, which focuses on language use. Its branches include the theory of how one and the same word or sentence can express different meanings or propositions from context to context owing to ambiguity or indexicality, as well as the theory of conversational implicature. It is also sometimes used to describe a broad philosophical attitude toward the formation of concepts, hypotheses and theories and their justification in terms of their utility for humanity’s various purposes.
The practical approach of pragmatism makes it a suitable philosophy to address issues in our daily life, and it can be applied to many areas of study. It is particularly suited to the field of education, where it can be used to guide the development of children’s communication skills.
However, while pragmatism can be used to guide educational practice, it has its weaknesses. For example, it can be argued that it leads to an emphasis on short-term solutions and a lack of consideration for how long-term policies might work, or that it can be exploited by those who want to gain power over others and control their lives.
Some philosophers have challenged the concept of pragmatism and neopragmatism in particular, arguing that it is not as useful as other philosophy of inquiry because it does not provide the friction or constraints that can help regulate or improve thinking. This paper argues that this challenge is misguided, and that it would be better for Pragmatism to retain the notion of experience instead of eliminating it in favor of neopragmatism’s linguistic approach.
The key reason to keep the concept of experience is that it continues to serve Pragmatism’s view of inquiry as a valuable function in its own right. In order to understand this, it is necessary to revisit and reconstruct the classical pragmatists’ views of experience so that we can understand how they are still relevant and functional today. In a later section, I will show that this will require rethinking the nature and functions of qualitative thought in general, as described by John Dewey.