What is Pragmatic Philosophy?
Pragmatic is a philosophy that focuses on things that work in the real world. It also involves being able to see the bigger picture. Pragmatists are often seen as realistic, matter-of-fact, rational, and sensible.
The term pragmatic first appeared in print about a century ago, when William James (1842-1910) used it to designate a philosophical outlook that he and his Harvard colleague Josiah Royce (1852-1920) regarded as a third alternative to the analytic and ‘Continental’ traditions. But James scrupulously swore that the word had been coined three decades earlier by his compatriot Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914)—who, in an attempt to distinguish his views from those promulgated by James, relabeled his own position pragmaticism and hoped that the new name would be ugly enough to keep him safe from kidnappers.
In pragmatics, the study of language use, pragmatism is the theory that meaning is determined in context by a set of rules based on the fact that utterances are interpreted by hearers in a particular situation. The theory also takes into account the fact that a speaker is trying to convey a message and the listener may be influenced by their own assumptions.
This is a major part of what makes it possible for the meaning of an utterance to be changed even though the words remain the same. For example, if someone responds to a question by saying “I have two sons,” the hearer is likely to interpret this as a statement that the speaker only has two sons. However, if the question was followed by “Do you have any children?” the implication is that the speaker may have one or more daughters as well as two sons.
Another important element of pragmatics is the idea that there are certain kinds of facts that can’t be proven or disproved. These are called ‘pragmatic’ facts and they include the following:
The last major aspect of pragmatics is the idea that the goal of understanding human language and communication is to enable people to better understand each other. The way that this is achieved is by analyzing the way a person uses a word or phrase in a specific context and then using that knowledge to predict how a person will use it in a different context.
This is what makes pragmatics an important scientific field. It can be applied to the study of languages and human communications in general, as well as other areas of social science such as sociology and economics. In the latter, pragmatics can help explain things like how a company makes decisions or how a political system operates. It is this practicality that enables people to make better informed choices when it comes to the products and services they buy and the ways in which they vote. In addition, it is pragmatics that enables businesses to make the most of their budgets by targeting customers and limiting advertising to those who are more likely to buy.