Pragmatic is a philosophical school of thought that focuses on how we experience reality and how we use language to communicate. It is often described as a “middle way” between idealism and realism. This is because pragmatics focuses on how we actually use language rather than how we think it should be used.
This is why pragmatics is so popular among social scientists. It allows researchers to look at how different cultures use simple gestures or words in very different ways. For example, a gesture that is considered harmless in one country may be very offensive in another. This is why it is important for researchers to be able to adapt their research methods when working in different countries. Pragmatic research can help them do this because it allows for the flexibility and adaptation that is necessary to accommodate the unique cultural experiences of respondent groups.
The pragmatic philosophy was founded by the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce. Although he originally intended for it to be a separate branch of philosophy, the pragmatic school eventually became an important part of the philosophy of science and natural sciences in general. Peirce’s original intent was to develop a way of understanding and interpreting the world that is based on actual experience and observation rather than theoretical assumptions.
He believed that this approach would be more beneficial to science than either pure idealism or realism, which focus on the concepts themselves without looking at how they are applied. This is why he developed the pragmatic maxim, which stated that we should always combine an analysis of what something means with an analysis of how it is used.
Another important aspect of pragmatism is that it encourages research to be flexible and adaptive as it proceeds from observations to theory. This is especially helpful when dealing with organizational phenomena, which are complex and dynamic in nature. Pragmatist researchers can utilize techniques such as abduction, a process of reasoning at an intermediate level, to move from observations to theories about organizational processes. This approach is particularly useful when working with non-profit organizations that are constantly implementing and amending their organizational practices (Onwuegbuzie and Leech, 2005).
One of the main arguments against pragmatism is that it is not objective. While the pragmatist philosophy aims to be objective, it is not necessarily always possible. There are many factors that can influence the objectivity of a research project, such as the researcher’s own biases and how those biases are reflected in the data. These factors are outside of the control of the researcher, which is why it is important to understand and acknowledge these potential flaws in research before evaluating the results.
In addition, pragmatism is sometimes associated with a lack of philosophical depth. While it has its uses, it is not as rigorous as other philosophical schools of thought, such as deconstructionism or structuralism. This can lead some to dismiss it as a mere “middle way” between idealism or realism.