What Is Pragmatism?

The term “pragmatism” is attributed to William James, who coined the term while delivering an address at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1898. However, James swore that the term had been coined over three decades earlier by C. S. Peirce, and later re-labeled his own philosophical position ‘pragmatism’. He said that the term was “ugly enough that it would not be kidnapped.”

Pragmatic people are concerned with the practical aspects of language and action. In particular, they look beyond the literal meaning of an utterance to consider implied meanings and the implications of the words or phrases spoken. This type of thinking is essential to understanding language and its interactions; without Pragmatics, there would be little understanding of meaning.

The term “pragmatism” is derived from the Latin word ‘pragmaticus’, which means “practical”. This attitude means that we are guided by practical considerations. For example, we should always make decisions based on what will be most practical, not what we think is most logical or idealistic. Consequently, a pragmatic person will be rational and realistic in their thinking.

When it comes to marketing a product, pragmatic marketers focus on finding out what consumers need and want. This means that they create a product that addresses the needs of a customer, and test it on a small group of customers before launching it in the marketplace. Even after a product has been launched, pragmatic marketers are continuously testing and refining it to ensure that it remains customer-centric throughout its lifecycle.

Pragmatic language is critical for a successful interaction between two people. Without it, two people cannot understand each other. And when a person is unable to engage in a meaningful conversation, other listeners may feel uncomfortable or even unwilling to interact with them. Children who lack pragmatic language may struggle in academic settings and social situations.