What is Pragmatic?
The term pragmatic can be used to refer to the characteristic of primarily focusing on the practical applications of ideas and thoughts, rather than their theoretical ideologies and abstractions. Through being pragmatic, an individual seeks to find the ideal solution or solutions to a problem, without focusing too much on the debatable academic theories that surround the problem.
Hence, pragmatism is a concept that advocates for the development of an understanding through practical applications and the acquisition of sound knowledge through thoughts and experiences. It emphasizes inquiry and scrutinizes the problem to be solved, in order to identify practical solutions or derive adequate conclusions.
Individuals who practice pragmatism are said to be pragmatists. Pragmatists argue that a considerable portion of philosophical concepts should be viewed with a focus on their practical applications and succession.
- Pragmatism is a concept that advocates for the development of an understanding through practice and gaining a depth of knowledge through thoughts and experiences and emphasizes inquiry and the problematic situation.
- Pragmatists argue that a considerable portion of philosophical concepts should be viewed with a focus on their practical applications and succession.
- The use of the pragmatic approach is centered on the discovery and use of a method that is most suitable for the research problem identified.
The History of Pragmatism
During the 1870s, frequent discussions were held at the “Metaphysical Club.” The discussions were mostly centered around the key ideologies that formed pragmatism. American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce developed pragmatism ideas and made publications on his findings during the 1870s.
The philosophies surrounding pragmatism were further discussed and studied by another American philosopher, William James, during the 1890s. W. James would hold public lectures to discuss the concepts behind pragmatism.
William James and Charles Sanders Peirce used pragmatism as a reference point for the clarification and hypothesis of concepts and identifying irrelevant arguments.
Pragmatic Approach to Research
There are various approaches when it comes to conducting research. The use of the pragmatic approach is centered on the discovery and use of a method that is most suitable for the research problem identified, without placing much emphasis on the arguments regarding which method is most suitable to address the problem question.
Pragmatic researchers are inclined to the freedom of being able to make use of any form of techniques or methods for conducting qualitative or quantitative research. Pragmatists acknowledge the pros and cons of various research methods.
A pragmatic approach, also referred to as a mixed approach, allows the researcher to utilize more than one research method or technique, simultaneously. An example would be the methods used during data collection. Data can be gathered through interviews (one-on-one) or focus groups and the findings can assist in the development of questionnaires. The questionnaires can be used to derive data from a larger sample size to carry out a statistical investigation.
The analysis of the data that’s been collected is highly dependent on the data collection methods used. The appropriate data analysis method will depend on the research method used. In certain instances, data may need to be converted from qualitative data to quantitative data or vice versa.
Through a mixed approach, triangulation can be enabled. Triangulation allows for a mixture of methods to carry out a successful study. There are four main types of triangulation, including;
- Methodological triangulation: Involves the utilization of more than one research study method.
- Data triangulation: Involves the utilization of various sources of data in data collection and analysis.
- Theory triangulation: Involves the utilization of various studies, interpretations, and perspectives to derive conclusive results.
- Investigator triangulation: Involves the utilization of various researchers to conduct investigations or research studies.
Depending on the study or structure of the research being conducted, certain researchers make use of both qualitative and quantitative methods at the same time. In some cases, one method is used before the other, with certain parts of the study expanding on the results for either of the approaches.
Neopragmatism is a post-Deweyan pragmatism theory that focuses on the idea that the meaning of words or terms is highly dependent on how the words or terms are used, instead of how they might have been intended to be used or what they were meant to describe. Neopragmatism is also known as analytic pragmatism or linguistic pragmatism.