Pragmatics is the study of human action and thought, and it looks at more than the literal meaning of an utterance. It examines the meaning construction process, including implied meanings, as well as the meaning potential of an utterance. Pragmatics is fundamental to understanding language, since without it, there would be little understanding of meaning. Its principles are based on the use of context to influence the meaning of a word or phrase.
A major source for the theory of pragmatic decision-making is the Metaphysical Club, a group of Harvard-educated men who met informally in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the early 1870s for philosophical discussions. Members of this group included proto-positivist Chauncey Wright, future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, and logician Charles Sanders Peirce. Other notable members of this group were William James, a psychologist, and psychologist with a medical degree.
The term pragmatism was first coined by William James, in an 1898 address at the University of California (Berkeley). However, Peirce had already used the term three decades earlier. He renamed his own position pragmatism and re-used it for his own purposes. Peirce, however, used the term to imply a general principle and maxim, instead of calling it “ugly enough to be safe from kidnappers.”
In contrast to idealistic thinking, pragmatism emphasizes practical solutions rather than theoretical abstractions and theories. It emphasizes the importance of considering a problem in its entirety and finding the most useful method to solve it. Ultimately, the pragmatic approach is based on the idea that practicality is the ultimate goal. If you’re pragmatic, you will be able to live by it! So, why not give it a try?
The field of pragmatics is a branch of linguistics that deals with the way people use language in social settings. It focuses on how people use language and how the meaning they convey is derived from it. As a subfield of linguistics, pragmatics is increasingly diverse. It compares linguistic syntax and semantics. But it also recognizes the importance of social contexts in the way that language is used in everyday life.
Pragmatism is a relatively new philosophical movement, and there has been a recent revival of interest in the movement. Some high profile philosophers have explored the topic, including Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, Nicholas Rescher, Jurgen Habermas, Susan Haack, and Cornel West. The field of pragmatism is growing rapidly, and several prominent philosophers have embraced it as their own.