What is Pragmatic Philosophy?
Pragmatic is the study of language in context, looking beyond its literal meaning to find other meaningful possibilities. Pragmatics looks at things like conversational implicature, speech act theory, and the theory of ambiguity.
One of the central beliefs of pragmatism is that knowledge is a product of our experiences. Each person’s experiences differ, so no two people have exactly the same knowledge. Knowledge is also socially constructed through our interactions with others, which means that it can be influenced by other people’s knowledge. Pragmatists also believe that reality is constantly changing, so knowledge is never complete or fixed. Instead, knowledge aims to be a tool for managing reality (Goldkuhl 2012).
Another aspect of pragmatism is that the best way to learn about something is by experiencing it. This can be done through hands-on activities, experiments, and real-life examples. This is why pragmatic education focuses on experiential learning and putting theories into practice.
The pragmatist view of truth is often seen as a form of relativism. As a result, it can be difficult to establish universally valid ethical principles or to distinguish between right and wrong. The pragmatist perspective may also lead to instrumental manipulation, whereby actions or beliefs are prioritized only based on their practical usefulness or effectiveness. This can be problematic if it ignores intrinsic or inherent value, such as moral worth or aesthetic beauty.
Pragmatists are also criticized for their distrust of dogmas and fixed theories. This distrust can lead to a lack of faith in established bodies of knowledge or theoretical frameworks, which can slow the advancement of research and scientific knowledge. However, critics argue that a pragmatic philosophy of science can still be used to encourage the development of more effective experimental procedures and to develop overarching explanatory models.
Despite these criticisms, pragmatism is widely used in a variety of fields, including biology, economics, and sociology. For example, pragmatism is the philosophical foundation of the co-operative model in the social sciences and the cooperative learning theory in education. It is also the basis of many management strategies, such as continuous improvement and process mapping.
Joe Gerard wanted to be the best car salesman in his company. To do that, he worked relentlessly and sacrificed his personal life. He took no coffee breaks or lunches, and he often slept on his desk. But he did it because his pragmatic philosophy of success drove him to be the best at what he did.
The pragmatic approach is used in teaching to help students understand that the most important thing is to get out and do what they need to do to succeed, whether that’s studying, working hard, or taking risks. It helps students take responsibility for their own success, and it provides a flexible framework for students to adapt to the demands of the workplace and to build their confidence as learners. The pragmatic philosophy teaches students to be creative, resilient, and innovative. It also helps them make better connections between ideas and to apply their knowledge to the real world.