What Is Pragmatism?

Developed around 1870, pragmatism is a third alternative to ‘Continental’ philosophy and analytic philosophy. Its first generation was led by Charles Sanders Peirce, who interacted with the pragmatists. The work of James and Peirce eventually led to the term ‘pragmatism’, which means ‘practical’ in the Greek sense.

Despite its modern definition, the roots of pragmatics can be traced back to antiquity. During this period, rhetoric was one of the three liberal arts and was regarded as a branch of linguistics. Between 1880 and 1930, pragmatic ideas began to emerge in Germany, France, and Britain. Linguists who studied the nature of language agreed upon a common point of view that language is a form of human action. Pragmatics has since become a multidisciplinary field of study.

Similarly, some pragmatics work aligned with Jacques Derrida’s program. He argued that the pronouns ‘I’ and ‘you’ are fundamentally different from other pronouns. As such, the meaning of the phrase ‘I have two sons’ is radically changed by the preceding question ‘do you have any daughters?’ Similarly, some pragmatics research deals with hate speech.

However, pragmatism has not addressed value theory, which has been the focus of neo-pragmatism in the last two decades. Neo-pragmatism has tended to focus on the philosophy of language and metaphilosophy. Heney (2016) attempts to develop a pragmatist metaethics as part of the New Pragmatism movement. This approach has its limitations, but it is a promising direction.

The term ‘pragmatic’ comes from the Greek word pragmatikos, meaning’relating to a fact’. The term was coined in the late 16th century and was first used in the English language by Charles Sanders Peirce. In contrast, the word ‘pragmatism’ refers to a philosophy or theory that emphasizes practical considerations. Its origin is from the Greek word pragmatikos, meaning’related to fact’, which stems from the word ‘pratein’, ‘do’.

In addition to this, Pragmatism was also adopted by Stuhr, who wrote Genealogical and Historical Pragmatism. Other important works include Suckiel, E.K., and Talisse, R., and Thayer, H.S., “The Pragmatic Philosophical View”.

One example of a pragmatic approach to research is Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister. Jacinda Ardern, the first woman to become Prime Minister of New Zealand, has a socially progressive mindset and is known for being a ‘rational empathic’ leader. She has gained international admirers and has successfully generated tangible results despite facing difficult circumstances. It is also one of the most widely cited heads of state in recent history.