What is Pragmatic Thinking?

The adjective pragmatic is often used to describe people and things that are practical or reasonable. It is often contrasted with idealistic, which means that a person or thing is concerned more with what should be than with what could be. For example, a four-year old who wants a unicorn for her birthday is not being very pragmatic.

The word pragmatic comes from the Greek pragma, meaning “deed.” It is often thought that the philosophy of pragmatism focuses on real-world application of ideas rather than with abstract notions. The philosopher Charles Peirce is known as one of the founders of pragmatism. His 1907 essay ‘Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking’ described the history of philosophy as a clash between two temperaments, the ‘tough-minded’ who believe in an empiricist commitment to experience and go by ‘the facts’, and the ‘tender-minded’ who prefer a priori principles that appeal to rationality. He promised that pragmatism would provide a solution to this problem.

One of the main branches of pragmatism is pragmatics, which is the study of how language functions in context. This can be very broad, such as examining the meanings of words or sentences, or it can be more specific, such as determining how people apologize in a particular culture or using a particular language to express humor. Teachers of second languages may include lessons in pragmatics to help students become more proficient in a new language.

Pragmatics is an important component of human language, and it has many applications outside of the realm of linguistics. For example, in business, being able to understand the pragmatics of a language can make it easier to communicate with employees and clients. Pragmatics can also help in the development of artificial intelligence, because it allows machines to learn how to understand and interpret natural human speech.

In a classroom, pragmatics can be taught through activities that are related to the content of the class or textbook. For example, a teacher can use the book Amy Hanna’s ‘Luck of the Draw (Pragmatics)’ to teach students how to appropriately greet different speakers and situations. This can be a good way to practice pragmatics in an environment that is safe and familiar, and it can help students to develop communicative competence in the target language.

The Journal of Pragmatics welcomes the submission of both full-length articles and invited review papers. Authors wishing to submit an invited review should contact the Editors of the journal before submission, outlining the proposed focus of their article. Authors submitting a non-review paper must wait until a decision has been made on their invited review before submitting another manuscript. Only one paper per author can be submitted at a time. Manuscripts containing only a book review will not be considered for publication. All articles should be written in impeccable English (US American spelling is standard for the journal). Articles must be original and should not have been previously published.