Pragmatic – The Useful, Practical Knowledge

Pragmatic – The Useful, Practical Knowledge

As the name suggests, pragmatism is a philosophy that focuses on the practical application of knowledge. This approach is often used in education because it encourages students to think for themselves and apply their skills to real-world situations. It also promotes creativity and helps students develop their own ideas. This can be beneficial later in life when they are faced with challenging problems at work or home. This philosophy is particularly popular in the United States, where it is often taught in schools and universities.

This article will explore some of the key principles of pragmatism and how these can be applied to research in the field of organizational studies. Specifically, the article will highlight two project examples that demonstrate the pragmatist approach at different stages of the research process, from developing a research objective to uncovering staff interests and perceptions, through the choice of methodology and interpreting the results and findings (Morgan 2014a).

Pragmatism has its roots in a group of Harvard-educated men who met regularly for informal philosophical discussions called The Metaphysical Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the early 1870s. Members included proto-pragmatist Chauncey Wright, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), a logician and mathematician.

The central principle of pragmatics is that meaning is always relative to context. This means that every situation or context has its own unique meaning and understanding of a word or phrase. Consequently, there is no one meaning that is true for all contexts. The meaning of a word is determined by the social, cultural, and situational context in which it is being spoken or written. This makes pragmatics a very complex subject to study, as there are so many variables that can affect the meaning of a word.

Another crucial concept of pragmatics is that action is more important than words. This is because pragmatists believe that a person’s actions are more indicative of their beliefs than their words. For example, if someone is wearing a green sweater, they may be trying to convey that they are a proud Irishman even though their words may say otherwise. The importance of actions is also reflected in the way that pragmatists use the term “action-oriented” to describe their research.

Unlike some other philosophical approaches, pragmatics aims to provide a more concrete and useful form of knowledge. It is a theory that takes into account all the different factors that can influence language, such as social, cultural, and situational contexts. It is also a theory that is able to take into account non-linguistic aspects of communication, such as body language and facial expressions. Because of this, it is a very useful and powerful tool to have when conducting qualitative research. It can help researchers get to the heart of the matter and understand what people mean when they are using particular words or phrases. Ultimately, pragmatics is an effective way to examine a complex issue and make informed decisions.