adjective prag·mat·ic \prag-ˈma-tik\

: dealing with the problems that exist in a specific situation in a reasonable and logical way instead of depending on ideas and theories (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pragmatic)


noun plural but singular or plural in construction prag·mat·ics \prag-ˈma-tiks\

linguistics : the study of what words mean in particular situations (merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pragmatics)


noun prag·ma·tism \ˈprag-mə-ˌti-zəm\

: a reasonable and logical way of doing things or of thinking about problems that is based on dealing with specific situations instead of on ideas and theories (merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pragmatism)

Pragmatics by definition is a term used in linguistics. But I think that people us pragmatics synonymously with pragmatism. Is that right? Are they synonyms or not? When should I use one or the other?

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    "pragmatics" and "pragmatism" are not synonyms, and the definitions you quote are correct. "Pragmatics" refers to a field of study concerning the relationship between a language and the people who speak it. This use is not actually confined to linguistics -- it's also a discipline within philosophy, and linguists became interested in it later than philosophers. – Greg Lee Oct 2 '15 at 4:24

I don't think they are synonyms. Pragmatics is to science as Pragmatism is to engineering. One is the study, the other is the practice. Do people use them as synonyms? Not in my experience.

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