The term “pragmatism” refers to the tendency of a person to act and think in accordance with facts, rather than the aesthetics of appearances. The term comes from the group of Harvard-educated men who met for informal philosophical discussions in the early 1870s in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Members of the group included proto-positivist Chauncey Wright, the future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Charles Sanders Peirce, a logician and moralist with a medical degree. The pragmatism movement spread rapidly, however, as the more formalistic philosophies faded.
Although the term ‘pragmatism’ has many practitioners, it is most relevant to language analysis and communication. Pragmatics focuses on the meaning behind utterances, from a single word to an elaborate speech. It also focuses on how to use language in a social context, and how to avoid the “misuse” of overuse. This way of thinking helps us understand how to use language to express our needs.
The discipline of pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics. The study of language use in social contexts is central to this field. The study of language involves both literal and non-literal aspects, and the physical contexts of those uses. Pragmatics has become an extremely popular field of study. There are various facets of language, including the nuances and complexities of everyday speech and writing. It is particularly relevant in the field of psycholinguistics, where the study of language is a multidisciplinary activity.
While the goal of education is to prepare students for the future, a pragmatic educator recognizes that the school environment is the coordinating environment between home life and the outside world. It is an ideal environment for students to flex their intellectual and social muscles and to be guided toward the desired consequences of those actions. The pragmatic approach is also a way to improve the quality of conversational interaction. In contrast to idealistic philosophy, pragmatic education is practical and rooted in the social context.
A number of pragmatists argue that we should not limit the nature of our inquiries to a limited set of topics and statements. A pragmatic view on truth, however, does not rely on definite conclusions. In fact, pragmatism preserves the possibility of inquiry and the importance of discourse. In addition, it is a way to avoid bias, and to ensure that our thinking is based on a sound foundation of knowledge.
While pragmatic theories of truth are generally agreeable, they do not address the metaphysical and justification projects. Instead, they seek to bring truth down to earth, avoiding abstract correspondences to metaphysical ideas. It is difficult to define a pragmatic theory of truth as a universal or absolute concept. It is also difficult to assess the implications of a pragmatic theory in the context of other “substantive” theories of truth. In this context, the pragmatic theory of truth may seem more sensible, but it is not necessarily more robust.
The pragmatic theories of truth are characterized by the fact that they prioritize speech-act and justification projects above all other types of inquiry. Unlike deflationary theories, pragmatic theories of truth tend to recognize that truth has multiple uses, including as an object of inquiry. It can also serve as a norm in assertive discourse. The pragmatic perspective on truth makes a clear distinction between truth and error, but does not agree on how to measure them.