What is Pragmatics?

Pragmatic is the study of what people really mean when they communicate and interact with one another. It includes the interpretation of meaning in context, ambiguity resolution and communication strategies. It also involves understanding the non-verbal cues that accompany language such as facial expressions, body language, and gestures. It’s an important aspect of understanding what people are saying, and why they are saying it.

In philosophical terms, pragmatism is a philosophy of action that emphasizes practical consequences and a flexible view of truth. It rejects idealism and the metaphysical notion of truth as objective reality, but it also avoids a purely functionalist approach to life that would devalue the importance of human experience and thought. Pragmatists believed that a meaningful life could only be found through the process of navigating change and using knowledge to direct it for positive ends.

The pragmatic approach is often applied in day-to-day activities such as decision-making. For example, if Alice wants to earn a higher degree, she can apply pragmatic wisdom by assessing her goals and priorities, researching different educational programs, evaluating financial implications, considering her time constraints, and thinking about work-life balance. By doing so, she can choose an educational program that will yield the most positive outcomes.

Although pragmatism has been in decline since the 1970s, its ideas have seen some revival with the rise of neopragmatism. Richard Rorty’s iconoclastic rejection of mainstream epistemology’s crucial mistake – conceiving of thoughts and language as mirroring the world – birthed a movement that seeks to rehabilitate classical pragmatist ideals of objectivity (see neopragmatism).

There are many different types of pragmatics: formal and computational; theoretical and applied; game-theoretic and clinical; intercultural, interlinguistic and even neuropragmatics. Each has its own research methodologies and focuses on a particular set of issues, but they all have the common feature of being concerned with what the speakers really mean when they use language.

Pragmatics is a cross-disciplinary field with strong connections to other areas of linguistics, communication studies, psychology and sociology. Its aim is to understand the nature of human communication in all its diversity, so it is vitally important for the disciplines involved.

The Journal of Pragmatics publishes full-length articles, discussion notes and book reviews as well as high quality special issues on topical or developing areas within pragmatics. The journal encourages submissions that explore the interrelationship between pragmatics and neighbouring research areas such as semantics, discourse analysis, conversation analysis and ethnomethodology, sociolinguistics, anthropology, media studies, psycholinguistics, and philosophy of language. It is the policy of the Journal of Pragmatics to ensure that all papers are reviewed by two experts in the relevant field. This rigorous review ensures that the highest standards are maintained throughout the publication process. In addition, we are committed to the transparent disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest. This declaration is clearly indicated at the beginning of each paper.