Despite its name, the philosophy of pragmatism is largely grounded in reality. The word is derived from the Greek word pragmatikos, meaning’relating to fact’. The word is used in a broad range of contexts, ranging from political discourse to business. In everyday speech, pragmatic refers to an approach that is grounded in fact and practical. In other words, it is based on the practical considerations of the individual.
It emerged from the work of the metaphysical club, a group of Harvard-educated men who met for informal philosophical discussions in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during the early 1870s. Its membership included proto-positivist Chauncey Wright and future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Other members included the philosophers Charles Sanders Peirce and William James, a psychologist and moralist who also had a medical degree.
In recent decades, pragmatism has been regaining popularity and has been explored by several high-profile philosophers, including Richard Rorty. Other prominent pragmatists include Hilary Putnam, Nicholas Rescher, Jurgen Habermas, and Susan Haack. In addition to these prominent thinkers, pragmatism has also inspired several new works of literature. And it has received renewed interest from social scientists. The theory of pragmatics is widely regarded as the foundation for understanding language. Without it, there would be little understanding of meaning.
As its name implies, pragmatics studies the effects of context on meaning. In a conversation, for example, when a speaker says “hello,” the listener will track the flow of reference through syntactic clues. If the speaker has said “hello” to someone in a conversation, he will likely understand that he meant to say “hello” to the person he/she is greeting. In addition, pragmatics has been linked to the science of natural language processing and is an integral part of the field.
The philosophy of truth differs between pragmatists and ideologues. In the case of James and Dewey, truth is what “works” whereas true opinions are those that an inquirer accepts at the end of the inquiry. While these two approaches are not mutually exclusive, they are often used in conjunction. Ultimately, they disagree on what constitutes the truth. And they differ on the definition of “utility” in philosophy.
In contrast to the classical pragmatists, Robert Brandom has a different philosophical agenda. He is critical of classical pragmatists and owes more to the works of Wilfrid Sellars and Richard Rorty than to Kant or Hegel. While he recognizes similarities between these two schools, his philosophical interests are different. His focus on the philosophy of language and semantics is much broader than that of classical pragmatists.
Children with language disorders and autism may have difficulty with pragmatic language. In these cases, visual supports, role models, and social stories can assist children with poor pragmatic skills. It is also beneficial to incorporate a range of pragmatic language-based activities into the child’s life. Pragmatic language is vital to successful communication. The more interaction the child has, the better. The following are some strategies for teaching pragmatic language to children with various disabilities. All of these strategies will improve the quality of life for children with pragmatic language difficulties.