Pragmatic theories of truth focus on the roles of speech-acts and justifications rather than the concept of truth itself. Moreover, pragmatic theories do not limit truth to a particular topic or type of inquiry. Rather, they view any topic as a legitimate opportunity for inquiry. As a result, they are less abstract and easier to understand.
The study of pragmatics is a sub-field of linguistics. This discipline analyzes human language and its relationships in social contexts. Pragmaticians are linguists who specialize in this area of study. The goal of pragmatics is to understand and analyze human language in context to reveal the true meaning of what is said.
Pragmatic problems can cause a person to miscommunicate with others and use nonverbal signals inappropriately. It is vital to identify these issues at an early age to avoid awkward social interactions in the future. In addition, early intervention can increase an individual’s social acceptance and prevent conversations from being ignored by peers.
Three of the most important figures of classical American pragmatism, James and Peirce, made their views on truth largely pragmatic. Though these ideas remained dormant by the mid-20th century, they established a course for future pragmatic theories of truth. These thinkers reframed the concept of truth as a property of well-verified claims.
Some critics of pragmatism claim that it fails to account for objectivity of truth, and that it does not distinguish between the limitations of actual epistemic practice. Nevertheless, this view of truth is not necessarily a rejection of metaphysical theories. It is an alternative to a correspondence theory of truth.
One variant of neo-pragmatism rejects metaphysical realism and seeks to preserve objectivity of truth. This variant is associated with Hilary Putnam, although her views have shifted over the years. Moreover, neo-pragmatism emphasizes the notion of truth as a worthy objective in epistemic terms. It rejects metaphysical realism as a model of human solidarity.
The role of pragmatic trials in health sciences research has been gaining momentum. The objective of these studies is to inform decision-makers. In this way, pragmatic trials compare the effects of different interventions on patients based on the effectiveness of their benefits and burdens. Furthermore, pragmatic trials involve population-based comparisons. Thus, they can help make informed decisions about the best course of action.
Other scholars have criticized the Pragmatics approach, while others have embraced it. For instance, Jacques Derrida remarked that some of the work of Pragmatics matched his program. Some researchers have also extended the theory of performativity to hate speech. Similarly, Wodak (2008) claims that contemporary pragmatic theory can be applied to CDA. However, he argues that manipulation is often non-systematic in this context.
The pragmatic theory of truth has faced various objections since its initial formulation. Some of these objections are narrow and relate to other pragmatic theories. However, the more general ones challenge the assumptions of these theories.