Talk:World view

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This was my meager attempt to put a bit more clarity in this very general term. IMO the best way to identify would be to draw the distinction from the words I listed in the "Related notions" section. Unfortunately I lack skills of expression and deeper understanding to do this. Mikkalai 19:19, 23 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I don't understand exactly how the map reflects Word View. Is each color meant to represent geographically a different world view? Also, how is the german word pronounced? Cogibyte 06:31, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

weltanschauung map[edit]

Weltanschauung map of the world

Hi cogibyte:

The colours signify distinct worldviews. The graphical representation not only shows distinct worldviews but also displays the variations within worldviews and comparative relations with other worldviews. Eg: The variations of blue across Europe, or the variations of brownish shades across South Asia and south-east asia, etc.

Weltanschauung is pronounced as velTAANshaaOOngh --- User:Robin klein


Nice map! Nice idea! Where did you get the data you plotted in your "Weltanschauung map"? ---Rednblu 16:48, 1 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Hi Rednblu,

The weltanschauung map is hypothetico-deductive conjecture. It coincides more or less with the linguistic family map of the world. The weltanschauung map is based on the linguistic relativity hypothesis of benjamin lee whorf and the theory of gene-linguistic co-evolution of Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza. But there is yet no empirical data for the map drawn.--Robin klein 19:28, 1 Aug 2004 (UTC)


I really like your idea of a Weltanschauung map! And for a first approximation, I suppose a mapping of the linguistic relativity alone would suffice. That is, for a first approximation, a mapping of the differences in linguistic expression would resemble the mapping of "empirical measures" of world view. For example, even before I would develop accurate empirical measures of "world view," I would say that there is a difference in the "median world view" of those who live on the Italian peninsula and close-by islands compared to the "median world view" of those who live in the areas of France. So even without assuming a causal mechanism, I would say that, at least comparing Italy to France, the transition in language would follow closely a transition in world view. I suppose when you fully develop your "Weltanschauung map" theory, you will express world view = W as a function of many variables W(L, E, G, F, R, . . .) where L is language, E is economic theory, D is variant of democracy or other form of government, F is variant of federalism or other form of centralized regulation, R is policy toward the entanglement of religion and state, .... So your current Weltanschauung map, it seems to me, is simply the map of the linguistic components of Weltanschauung, ignoring the components from the other dimensions--as a first approximation. Of course, in your fully developed Weltanschauung map theory, the variables L, E, G, F, R, ... are interdependent. Are you thinking of doing a paper on this? ---Rednblu 05:36, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)

A weltanschauung map from published research and with legends is needed. Robin klein 07:22, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

--- Where is the legend? — mark 06:25, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

--- I've come across a similar map, showing the dominant worldviews of the earth's cultures, based on both history and summary of much research over the past 40 years or so. I'll add it here if/when I get the chance. I do think it's appropriate & valuable for this article. Deluno (talk) 02:35, 27 December 2011 (UTC) ---


I'm not sure the map clarifies anything to anybody, and if it's not based on a well-accepted definition of paritioning worldviews then it seems like it would fall into original research to me. It also seems to assume a world view homogeny based on geography which seems very incorrect to me. Are you really going to argue that North and South India have very different worldviews but California and the Southern U.S. do not? Does South Africa really have the same worldview as its northern neighbors? Cuba and Haiti have the same worldview? Ireland and Britain? Austrailia has a geographically homogenous worldview? etc. I'm inclined to remove it... --Fastfission 03:13, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I agree! -- till we | Talk 07:49, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Completely agree. This is original research. A map or maps would be great; but they must be based on the work of a well known theorist. :ChrisG 11:02, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree as well. Further: 'If the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is correct, the worldview map of the world would be similar to the linguistic map of the world. However, it would also almost coincide with a map of the world drawn on the basis of music across people.' - one of the most foolish things I've read on wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:08, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
I see the point about such a map giving an impression of homogeneity, but it's also valuable to see the dominant cultural worldview of different nations. As long as it's clear that the map presents a generalisation, and that there is of course a variety of minority worldviews, I don't think this in itself should prevent use of such a map. Good on you however for standing up for minorities, and avoiding an impression of homogeneity. A statement in the article accompanying the map would help to clarify this. For those of us who do not share the dominant cultural worldview of our nation, there's benefit in having this overview of what we are steeped in. I'm not sure about the accuracy and other merits of this particular map however, what it's based on etc. (haven't yet had much of a chance to take a close look). There are others available, created on the basis of solid research. Inclusion of such a map would make an important contribution to this article. Deluno (talk) 02:51, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Worldview Examples[edit]

From the article (emphasis added):

For example, Christianity, Islam, socialism, Marxism, Scientology may be called worldviews; at least they generate clearly identifiable worldviews.

Of all of the different types of value/belief systems that could be listed, I find it curious that Scientology is listed as an example. Surely, it can be considered a world view—but are there not more suitable choices for describing examples of world views? Such as:

I keep wanting to add Atheism, but I have to keep reminding myself that it is itself not a world view. — Darco 18:45, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Hmm, yeah, that's odd. The first two are religions, the second two are political philosophies, and then you have a quasi-religion. It might make sense to have a few different worldviews from different categories, just to illustrate the wide applicability of the term (is socialism really a worldview? it seems too vague for me to quite be that. Marxism is pretty well defined, as is Islam, etc., but socialism can mean a dozen things -- it seems like the result of a worldview rather than the generator of one, in my opinion). --Fastfission 19:15, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree. Habibie 22:27, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree that Scientology is the wrong choice of examples, and that the others listed are more appropriate. Atheism is a worldview according to the definition I've read in various psychology articles. What do you think disqualifies atheism from being a worldview? Religion is a very clear example, dictating perspective, values, etc., but relatively vague examples aren't any less fitting. It's important to present a variety. Deluno (talk) 03:00, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

looking for a good reference[edit]

Anyone have a "scholarly" reference to define worldview? The way I undeerstand it, it is a concept larger than just philosophical orientation but goes on to include wider concerns such as our emotional, psychological, and even 'supernatural' relationship to the world. Can anyone give me a good reference beyond just a dictionary? Thanks! bj

Hi bj,

I can suggest a different prespective on understanding a 'world view' as a paradigm. See this discussion under Paradigm, with my comments as to how it can be 'defined'. It is more than a definition, it is a way of understanding a 'view of the world'. [1] --LandoSr 13:28, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

There are some very similar, much-overlapping definitions in psychological research (particularly on terror management theory, in which worldview plays a central role). The articles I've cited do provide good definitions (particularly that by Schimel et al), but I'm reluctant to use this again, since I've already used it several times, and don't want to use it too heavily. Then again, it is an excellent article.Deluno (talk) 03:09, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

World View on an Individual level[edit]

I notice that this article frames worldview in a social context--encompassing various people groups. This makes sense to me, but I have also heard of worldview as a set of answers to some key questions that are held (either consciously, or sub-consciously) by individuals.

For example, every person, I have been taught, answers, in one way or another the questions, "Who am I?", "Where am I?" (what's the nature of the universe, etc.), "What's the problem?" (what are the primary difficulties faced by me, humanity, etc.) and "What's the solution?" (how do we solve our personal and public problems?).

This sounds like a somewhat different concept from that being described in the worldview article, and I'm wondering where it would fit, if not here.

ZED 21:05, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

IMO it's not different (though I'm unaware of the way in which the term was originally used) - I have seen it used with regards to individual people. for that reason I altered the sentence "This expression refers to the 'wide worldview' or 'wide world perception' of a people." to "This expression refers to the 'wide worldview' or 'wide world perception' of a people, family or person."

There is a common error in people of a dominant Social instinctual variant to automatically make this kind of assumption. Just as there is a consequent error in the other Variants to make a likewise assumption. This is a POV error so profound and widespread that it is the water in which we swim (thus is almost unnoticeable unless one is actively aware of it, or becomes aware of it through the differing worldviews as expressed by differing people, religions, etc...). It is unfortunately one of the reasons for inter-tribal and national warfare, for killing "jews" or "muslims" for what others of their people have done; and also for those who, lacking a social instinct, don't really care (positively or negatively) about organizations or group membership (or anything outside of their immediate sphere of interest).

You may be interested in the article lifestance, though this is a newly coined term.

Addendum: This appears to be of biological origin, not a social construct. Just felt the need to add that.

I agree with the below posted Douglasian Worldviews, though think the mere "5 types" is a limitation based on perceived similarities that do not fully coincide (thus the "Could be Buddhist and see a higher reality" - creation of a subset of this worldview type). 05:06, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Two World Views[edit]

<Commenting on World viewIt refers to the framework through which an individual interprets the world and interacts in it.

  • 1. God, call it Theistic: monotheistic, anthropomorphic, transcendent God.
  • 2. G-D, call it Spinozistic Theistic: monotheistic, immanent, indwelling G-D.
Between the two, debate is useless. The debaters would be talking past each other. It is as if they were playing different games; one by the rules of checkers and the other by that of chess.

They each hold these different views because of the greater peace-of-mind it brings them (their Religion) and therefore it would be very difficult to talk them out of their viewpoint; they have too big an investment.

The same thing happened when two persons debated 'god(s)' and 'God', millennia ago.

Yesselman 16:00, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

The map says nothing about worldview that I can see. And it does not follow language families too well either: eg Finland is the same color as Sweden though they are unrelated families. On the other hand the France, Britain, Spain and Italy are various colors although they are one family. And what IS the difference in worldview between two colors? More… what? Happier? Tougher?

I know of one theory of worldviews: Mary Douglas’s grid-group theory. It has nothing to do with language, nothing to do with national boundaries. It answers ZED’s questions and agrees with Yesselman’s assertion that it is a framework through which the world is interpreted. (Though I don’t understand the rest of Y’s post.) It is more to do with politics than religion.

Douglas says there are five basic worldviews: 1. individualistic where the world is fundamentally friendly and if I have the skill I can make it work for me and if things go wrong then it’s my fault. The restless, creative, opportunistic, competitive 1s include the entrepreneurial neo-cons. Warlords have a Type 1 worldview. 2. hierarchical types who think nature will be friendly only if she is approached properly by properly qualified people, so everyone should know his place and pull his weight and if things go wrong a criminal is to be blamed. The 2s like propriety, are the old conservative right, fascist if extreme. They run the government and practically everything else. 3. egalitarian types who think the nature – ie the world, the provider of resources – is basically fragile and needs help to keep going. The 3s are politically left (including feminist, vegetarian, green); they abhor competition and want everyone to cooperate to look after the environment and no one to be superior to anyone else and when things go wrong it’s the fault of the greedy 1s (eg Enron) or the privilege-mongering 2s (eg WW1). 4. fatalists think the world runs on luck and fate. I might as well be apathetic, take each day as it comes and play the slot machines. My best tactic is to keep my head down and suck up to the powerful if I can’t avoid them entirely. Things go wrong (and right) on a random basis and no one is to blame. 5. autonomous type, someone who has withdrawn from meaningful participation in society – a hermit in the extreme. The world is a foolish place with everyone rushing about going nowhere. Often an older man with little social contact and resources that exceed (modest) requirements. Could be Buddhist and see a higher reality.

Note that these five worldviews are explicit. They say what they actually are. Note, too, how they have specific implications for personal behaviour and for social structure.

Reference: Douglas, M. 1982, “Cultural Bias” in "In the active voice", London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. - Pepper 10:31, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Capitalised Weltanshauung Consistently[edit]

Note that in German, all nouns are still capalised. Hence, Weltanshauung has a capital W. I'm not sure if this follows when the word is imported into English, but I decided that it probably does, if Schadenfreude (shameful joy) is a precedent. Also, most of the occurrences of the word were capitalised, so the changes were few. ________

Yes, capitalise Germans substantives - the word is sort of misspelt if you don't. Schadenfreude means malicious pleasure, ie pleasure at someone else's distress. - Pepper 05:52, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Pronunciation guide[edit]

How about a pronunciation guide to the German word? thunderboltz 08:51, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Welt (world) "velt"

an (to) "un" as in "unlikely"

schau (show) say "shout" without the "t"

ung (-ing) the "u" as in "full"

- Pepper 07:39, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Hey, thanks for that, Peper. I really appreciate it. :) And thanks for the phoentics on the main article too. thunderboltz 06:46, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

On External Links, I couldn't find anything about "Understanding Worldviews" at It's a site selling Christian workshops!

Non-World Views[edit]

A framework of understanding not focused on the world (ie. formal systems divorced from "the world" - that generate and/or permutate based on themselves or whatever influences from the mind of the generator). Does a term exist for these? I recognize that the ideas generated from such a thing would not be fully separate from the domain of Worldview, and conversely, but it also wouldn't fully fall into the domain of Worldview. 05:37, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Use of "Weltanschauung" and "world outlook" in the English language[edit]

The article claims that these terms both enjoy wide use in the English language. I'm a native English speaker and have experienced a wide variety of American vernaculars, and although I'm no expert on the English spoken in other parts of the world, I watch enough British soccer and Australian football that I have much more significant exposure to those dialects than most people I know...yet I'd never heard either of these terms until I read this article. Where are they used? The German department at university? Disbomber 09:28, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Where I First Heard Weltanschauung Used[edit]

I had a history Professor at Ball State University, Dr. Eugene McCain, that liked using the word Weltanschauung because he felt there was no English equivalent. His definition of the word was that it is the view of the world that is very specific to an individual or selective group, based on that person's collective experiences, which are obviously very different from anyone elses and hence very unique. Certtainly an important concept in understanding why nations and groups have acted as they have in certain circumstances. For example, we pretty much feel that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor because of their aggressive nature, whereas Japanese history classes state that it was necessary to bomb Pearl harbor because the US was blocking shipments of oil to Japan. Better dictionaries of English feature it as a word.

I heard of this word before I learned German or even thought that I would ever be interested in learning German, and that was before I went to college. It does appear in all 3 of my dictionaries: the Oxford American Dictionary, the American Heritage Dictionary, and Wahrigs Deutsches Wörterbuch (all but the latter are for English). As a native speaker of English who uses the word as an active part of his vocabulary, the word seems to mean
 1. a comprehensive view of the world, as opposed to a view on a single issue,
 2. and a view that not necessarily conscious, or not entirely conscious.
I heard the organization American Atheists use the word, which left me confused, because atheism is anything but a comprehensive belief system. It describes any of a wide variety of belief systems with only a single feature in common, something I learned from experience.
BTW, the example of Pearl Harbor doesn't seem very apt to me. This was a matter of disagreement over a single issue. Yes, Americans and Japanese look at it differently, not because of some fundamental difference in the way they view the world. On the other hand, the idea of unconditional loyalty (by no means limited to loyalty to a country) is something that is common to most Americans but totally alien to my Weltanschauung. It's a matter of how I view life not an ideological point, and it is not always conscious. To use another term, it is a "core concept." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bostoner (talkcontribs) 04:00, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Religious outlooks and worldviews[edit]

This section is a defense of religious beliefs rather than a discussion about worldview. Always drawing conclusions against WP:OR. If there's an article on religious conflict, religious misunderstanding, etc, it belongs there. But it does not seem to belong here as it is not clarifying the subject of the article. Any objection to removal of this section? (to the editor who added the section, your objection is already noted). --*Spark* 17:32, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Deleted. Such an obvious policy breach I deleted it on sight, even before coming here. Sorry if I was presumptive and pre-emptive. But you may take it that I agree with deleting the section! Snalwibma 18:27, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Not at all. It is simply an explanation of what major religious systems actually are. They simply are not "hypotheses". Naturalistic Atheism is a worldview as well. Whether or not these worldviews are valid or true is another matter altogether. If you need refs for such a basic concept I'll dig them out in due course. NBeale 19:02, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
"Whether or not these worldviews are valid or true is another matter". Exactly. So why are you inserting a section that is defending one worldview? Assuming "religious believer" = "one who believes in God" is inappropriate, simply wrong, and statement like "they do not simply mean" is pure POV. The whole section isn't appropriate here. --*Spark* 19:26, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Hi Spark. "Much of the confusion surrounding the debates between religious believers and proponents of atheism is due to a failure to distinguish between an hypothesis, a theory and a World view. For example, when a committed religious believer says "I believe in God" they do not simply mean "I assign a high probability to the hypothesis that there exists an Ultimate Creator"" does not defend any worldview or assert that all religious believers believe in God. If I give a Cow as an example of an Animal I am not asserting that all Animals are Cows. NBeale 19:37, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
You don't know that they don't mean "I'm playing the odds". Your defense of that might be "well then, they're not a committed religious believer". POV. --*Spark* 19:46, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
well done Spark. By a 'committed' religious believer I do indeed mean one who is committed to their religious beliefs, and not playing the odds. Since this is apparently unclear, I'm happy to make this clear in revised text. BTW the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says "According to physicist Paul Davies Science began as an outgrowth of theology, and all scientists, whether atheists or theists … accept an essentially theological worldview. (Davies 1995, 138)" NBeale 22:07, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Making yourself the arbiter of what constitutes someone who is committed to their belief is about as POV and OR as you can get. Regarding your other statement, WP:NOT. --*Spark* 22:23, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Why has this passage been added back in? Much of the confusion surrounding the debates between religious believers and proponents of atheism is due to a failure to distinguish between an hypothesis, a theory and a World view ... [etc] Maybe I simply to fail to understand the subtleties of what is being said here, but it sounds to me like a blatant breach of WP:NPOV and WP:NOR. I would just delete it again, as I did yesterday, but I'd like to see how others react first. Am I stupid, or is the passage in fact saying what I think it's saying - i.e. that "proponents of atheism" (why not just say "atheists"?) fail to understand the truth, which is available only to "religious believers" (or, I suppose, proponents of religion)? Snalwibma 22:54, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
No need. I removed it. Passing judgement on what constitutes a committed believe seems particularly strong violation of POV, while the statement regarding how their belief in a god is internalized seems a particularly strong violation of OR. The whole section doesn't parallel other sections in the article, which already cover religious belief. --*Spark* 22:58, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! Snalwibma 23:02, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Hi Snalwibma. I thought this was all common knowledge, but if you think it's OR I'll just have to quote and be a bit boring! However to say that a debate between A and B is confused due to a failure to distinguish between X, Y, and Z does not (in logic or I think in rhetoric) take any position on the validity of A or B's position. And there is a big difference between an Atheist (like Martin Rees) and a Proponent of Atheism (like Dawkins). PS How can one debate with someone who thinks that taking a Cow as an example of an Animal is "passing judgement"? NBeale 07:17, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
If you don't think labelling what "committed" means is passing judgement, I can't help you. Not all "committed religious believers" even profess belief in a god. Sourcing it would do nothing to cure the POV. The whole section doesn't fit with the rest of the article, see previous statements above. --*Spark* 12:19, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
New section is much better. Little iffy on the last paragraph, but it holds much more in line with the article than the previous addition did. --*Spark* 21:42, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

'Various writers suggest that religious belief-systems should be seen as worldviews rather than a set of individual hypotheses or theories" And what does that difference actually amount to?

The only clue the article gives is:

'James W. Sire defines a worldview as "a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic makeup of our world.'

AFAICT, replacing theories with worldviews amounts to ceasing to ask awkward questions about whether beliefs are true, consistent, etc. How remarkably convenient. Well, maybe that is unfair, but the article should explain what is going on, and not merely state that it is going on.

1Z 22:05, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

The section is still very unsatisfactory. It is vague and biased. The points that woldviews are not hypotheses, and that religions should be looked at as worldviews are re-iterated several times (with references), but it is not clear what is being asserted. The reader is not informed what the difference between a worldview and a hypothesis actually is, nor is the reader enlightened as to why the worldview approach is so much superior in relation to religion. Articles need to be supported by references, but first and foremost they need to explain.

'the Enlightenment project to put all knowledge underneath a single universal standard of "rationality" failed'

This is an appellingly sweeping and under-justified statement. The supporting arguments seem to confuse rationality with rationalism. The Age of enlightenment was an age of empiricism as well.

1Z 13:51, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Worldview, Ideology, theory[edit]

The article really needs to explain how "worldviews" stand in relation to ideologies, theories, et.c. Is it a redundant synonym for an individual's or society's theory of the world? Or is there a substantial difference.1Z 22:32, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

And it needs to consider the questions

  1. is it possible for one individual to subscribe to multiple worldviews?
  2. does a given society have one worldview, or multiple ones ?
  3. Are worldviews mutually comprehensible, but different sets of beliefs; or are they incommensurable?

1Z 00:53, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

4 Are worldviews deliberate, conscious constructs, or are they absorbed subliminally? 1Z 01:09, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

These are very interesting questions and I could (if I had time) write an essay about this - but Wikipedia is not the place for essays and OR. But to try to address your questions (numbered for convenience):
  1. Not if they want to be consistent, but people aren't always.
  2. In general, multiple, unless it is a very homogeneous society.
  3. Generally there is enough overlap that people can mutually comprehend to a significant extent if they try, but it isn't easy.
  4. Bit of both NBeale 19:07, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Principal Worldviews.[edit]

    In the Anglosphere the two principal families of worldviews in terms of numbers of adherents are[6]:
   * The Monotheistic family of worldviews which hold that the Universe is created by God.
   * The Materialist/Naturalistic family of worldviews which hold that nothing exists beyond physical 

This claim is an artefact of the question being asked. You could just as well quote the percentage who call themselves liberal or conservative.1Z 16:29, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

The fact that there are X million liberals in the English-speaking world is no more or less an argument for politically-based worldviews than the fact that there are Y million theists is evidence for religiously based worldviews. 1Z 22:51, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

It can be argued[edit]

I'm reluctantly removing the following: "It can be argued that religious belief and axiomatic schemes are disanalogous on a number of points:

  • Axiomatic schemes used in mathematics, etc, are typically kept minimal -- it is better to deduce than to assume. There does not appear to be a parallel principle in religion.
  • Mathematical and logical axioms are (ideally at least) self evident, indisputable principles.; whereas religious beliefs are often highly specific and contingent claims — for instance, that the Absolute Truth was revealed to a particular person at a particular time and place.
  • Axiomatic schemes are used in abstract sciences such as mathematics. Religion does not portray itself as merely abstract.
  • In science, empirical demonstration, where available, is held to override abstract reasoning. In contrast, religious believers may "axiomatically" assert, for instance, a Young Earth cosmology , against the empirical evidence.
  • The existence of multiple axiomatic schemes seems to imply multiple, relativized truths. But religious believers often assert their beliefs or axioms as being absolutely true (that is true "for everybody")."
  1. No doubt this "can be argued". But to qualify for inclusion in the article we must give a reliable source that shows that some notable person or publication has so argued.
  2. For sure mathematics is different from philosophy or religion and therefore the way axioms are used in mathematics is different. This does not argue against the basic beliefs of a worldview being axioms, merely against the idea (which no-one asserts) that worldviews are all mathematical.
  3. The failure of the enlightenment/rationalist project was precisely on the point that axioms are not, and can never be, "self-evident indisputable principles" - as explained in the article.
  4. The relationship between experiment and theory is not nearly as simple as suggested even in science. The whole point about worldviews is that they are not necessarily science or "scientific": indeed he idea that a worldview ought to be "scientific" is in itself a component of a worldview.

I hope this is helpful because I hate removing other Editors' work, but I could see no sensible way to raise these concerns without doing so. NBeale 19:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

  1. It seems to me that this "worldview" stuff is warmed-over relativism. As such, it will not be difficult to find counterarguments. Or you could show that it isn't relativism by supplying some of the clarifications I have requested.
  2. It does argue against the idea that they are justifiably axioms. If axioms are used in the abstract sciences because empirical justification cannot be brought to bear, and if the use of axioms where other forms of justification are possible would lead to an epistemological free-for-all, then axioms should not be used in non-abstract areas.
  3. It has not been established that the Enlightenment failed, and many axioms still stand as self-evident. The Axiom of choice is just one example. You are over-generalising. Moreover, in science/logic it is seen as a problem if an axiom is not self-evident. That is another difference from religion.
  4. . If you are going to argue for religious worldviews as being analogous to scientific and logical procedures, you must pursue the analogy consistently. To say that something is "part of a worldview" does not mean that nothing further can be said about its truth. That would be to assume your relativistic conclusion as part of your argument.

1Z 19:45, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi 1Z. I don't agree that worldviews are warmed-over relativism. Realism about what something is is an necessary first step to dealing with it intelligently from a philosophical PoV. Axioms are not used in science "becasue empirical justification cannot be brought to bear" - they are used because it is impossible to think or reason logically without axioms. The idea that all axioms should be self-evident is self-refuting and it turns out that axioms which appear "self-evident" are often not - the Axiom of choice is an excellent example. Part of the problem is that whether or not a thing is "self-evident" depends on your worldview. I am not arguing that worldviews are especially analagous to scientific and logical procedures nor that nothing can be said about the truth of particular worldviews. But to say that "Worldview A disagrees with Worldview B" says nothing (per se) about the validity of A or B. NBeale 11:35, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

If the worldview approach is not relativism, then the claim that "axioms are only ever argued from" is false. Axioms can be judged false, if you approach things realistically, as scientists do.

If it is a crucial to the "worldview" argument that axioms cannot never be judged, then the WV approach is either relativistic or' a failure. It's a dichotomy.

Axioms are used in science where empirical evidence cannot be brought to bear. is false.

The idea that axioms should be self-evident is not self-refuting,it can be argued from self-evident principals.

The fact that some alleged axioms are not self-evident can be taken to mean they where simply never properly speaking axioms i the first place. Remember, you need realism to work since you have rejected relativism.

The fifth postulate of Euclid is a better example. It is now considered an empirical issue.

To say that "Worldview A disagrees with Worldview B" says that at least one of them is worng simpliciter if relativism is rejected. But this is just to treat worldviews as sets of beliefs. What does the language of "worldviews" bring to the table absent relativism? Why not just talk about beliefs, knowledge, truth, as in traditional epistemology? Is the whole page a waste of time? 1Z 12:22, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi 1Z. Sorry I don't have time to go into every one of your points (would be helpful to be more concise perhaps?) the issue of how you deal with conflicts of worldviews is complex - would that there were simplistic formulae that worked! It's blindingly obvious that "self-evident" depends on your worldview (eg for many people the existence of God is self-evident). To say "X is self-evident" is not the same as "X can be argued for from self-evident principles". You might want to try to write down a rigorous argument for "all axioms should be self-evident" to understand where the problem lies. Obviously it cannot be an axiom because it is not self-evident. Best NBeale 13:50, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Do you have time to consider issues of epistemology and relativism in a wider context, or are you going to continue promoting a one-sidedly religious-relativistc POV? As it stands, it is taking up my time rewriting your stuff to be NPOV.

For philosophical purposes, the point is to get something that works intellectually. Whether people will put it into practice is another matter.

What people claim to be self evident will depend on their assumptions. It begs the question to assume that all such claims have to be taken equally and at face value. (Is there anyone who doesn't find it self-evident that every number has a successor?)

As I have explained before the rigorous argument you want exists, and is called the regress argument and is founded on the self-evident impossibility of a finite being entertaining an infinite chain of premises. The argument for foundationalism is foundationally acceptable. 1Z 14:21, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi 1Z. The regress argument as it stands is 100% OR, it might be good to ref it. All it really shows is that epistemology is complex, and that radical skepticism is a silly strategy. You might want to read Mary Midgley and Alvin Plantinga if you haven't already. If you were interested in trying to construct a rigorous argument as requested you would see how problematic it was. It is "self-evident" that "self-evident" is highly culture relative: it is far from clear that it means anything other than "I intuitively think this is true". Whether or not it seem self-evident, it's simply untrue that "every number has a successor" unless you define it in an utterly trivial way - ei is an obvious counterexample. NBeale 17:59, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

The [[regress argument] is not OR. The page is uncited. There's a difference. It took me seconds to find a reference here. The RA addresses foundationalism specifically. It is not evident (self or otherwise) that the truth of claims of self-evident is culture-relative. You are, again, confusing descriptive and normative relativism.

if it is false that every number has a successor, please tell me what he highest number is, then. 1Z 18:09, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi 1Z. Well that's improved the regress article a bit. Highest number is often called "infinity". But ei is not "the highest number" and what on earth is its successor?? I grant that things that seem "self-evident" might be false. But whether or not something is "self-evident" is clearly (at least) culture-relative, and in fact it's worldview-relative, in the sense that Dawkins and I come from the same culture but have v different worldviews. NBeale 21:27, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


 and an undertanding based on worldviews does not commit the holder to relativism


  Indeed Christians are well-known for wanting to spread their worldview, 
   following eg the injuctions to "proclaim the Gospel" in the Bible

But the fact that Christians are identified by others as "having a worldview" (NB singluar) does not mean they are "have an understanding based on worldviews" (NB plural) in the sense of a non-judgemental sense comparitive theologian.

1Z 19:28, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

literal meaning of the term[edit]

I don't know about common usage in philosophical studies or the media, but I'd like to amend that Anschauung is the German word for 'view' or 'outlook' isn't entirely correct. As a gerund, Anschauung describes the action or the process of looking at something. So, Weltanschauung would literally mean "the process of looking at / viewing the world", which is quite different from the meaning as mentioned in the article which closer resembles that of "preconception". — [ aldebaer⁠] 08:52, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't think "worldview" is so much a term as a concept. Let's have the article be about the concept, with only a short note about how the term derives from German language. --Uncle Ed 15:37, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with AldeBaer. Anschauung should in its individual sense rather be translated with 'observation' or 'examination'. The term Weltanschauung goes even farther than that, I would even translate it as 'understanding of the world'.

Five Categories of a World View[edit]

  • World view: Everyone has one, so there is no neutrality here (meaning there is no one who does not have one). People are either consistent or inconsistent with their world view and/or are either conscious or unconscious about their world view.

Nash (Faith and Reason 30-32)

A sixth ought to include Economics: capitalism, socialism, communism, interventionism, etc.Adriansrfr (talk) 10:41, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

All religions can be usefully understood and categorized through this paradigm. Philosophy in general tends to focus on the particulars of a world view although it can be used synonymously.Adriansrfr (talk) 10:58, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I do believe that the concept and the word Weltanschauung, cover the same fields! I also believe that this term can better be translated into contemplation than calqued into "world_view"!! In the translation of the German word "welt" to the English word "world" a part of larger meaning of the word gets lost, just like in the translation of the German word "aanschauung" to the English word "outlook"!!:

In German, the word's "weltkundig" (world wise) and "weltfremdig" (alienated) can be translated to being capable(weltkundig) or not(weltfremdig) at live and while living within your personal society ( one's living environment ).

“Welt”, in both word’s, cannot be translated as only the word "world", but should be translated as "the entire environment one lives in".

“Anschauung“ should not only be translated as outlook or perspective, it also covers Thought and Interpreting.

The specific combination of “welt” and “anschauung” into “Weltanschauung” can smoothly be translated into “contemplation”. I suggest to merge Contemplation with Weltanschauung or it's calque World view because of this overlap!

--Rick Smit (talk) 21:51, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

After reading this, it seems that contemplation is something completely different. It seems the most work on contemplation has been done by Catholic writers (mystics), for whom the word has a very specific meaning. I wonder if it'd be better to have an article titled Contemplation and then break out the different sub-categories including "the Catholic view," "the Eastern view," "Weltanschauung," etc.? I'm not tied to one way or another -- feedback? Renee (talk) 22:29, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree, but I thought of splitting this up into 2 categories (personal and group-wise, ethical or national) and relate the sub-category by telling about the history of the word and it’s uses.
This way it would be something like: == Personal: == --> Contemplation or Weltanschauung can be considered as a number of basic beliefs which are philosophically equivalent to the axioms of the worldview considered as a logical theory.
Topics: ===Religion(s)=== and ===Ethics and Logic=== == Group-wise, ethical or national (Non-personal): == --> Topics: ===Worldview and folk-epics=== and ===Weltanschauung and cognitive philosophy=== --Rick Smit (talk) 20:31, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
With all due respect, this merger suggestion makes no sense to me. By suggesting that the word be re-translated, you are overlooking that the it has been translated as "worldview" for last century and is in common usage this way throughout English sociology, philosophy and cultural studies. Maybe you are right that the translation is not as effective as it could be, but it is beyond the purpose of the encyclopedia to tackle this problem. Going forward with this merger would be a big mistake and leave a lot of people very confused. Respectfully, Aglie (talk) 21:00, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
That would be incorrect, I have to agree. But then again, these two articles are related, 1 of them is very small and the word “World view” is the calque not the translation of “Weltanschauung”. What do you suggest to do with this. --Rick Smit (talk) 23:58, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, as a native German speaker I would never ever merge Weltanschauung and Kontemplation (latin contemplare= „anschauen, betrachten“) . I do unterstand your point, however I use them for ("totally") different meanings/context. It would make more sense to me to merge (in German) Weltanschauung with Ideologie, because of there connections, and thats a bad idea too... Well, there are basically 2 solutions to this problem: 1. Just use Weltanschauung instead of world view or 2. accept that it's not always possible (and usefull) to translate the precise meaning of a word from one language to another word by word. Hopefully I havent been to German... ;-) Greetings --Cyrus Grisham (talk) 23:23, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't think they're the same, even if they're similar. They're certainly different enough to make a merger a bad idea. -- (talk) 23:26, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

World view and contemplation are very different concepts in English. It would be a very wrong decision to try merging them. Both articles stand best apart as it is the case now. I am an a scientist and philosopher studying world views as a part of my field of study. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Caramel01 (talkcontribs) 15:32, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose. The articles seem to be on quite different topics, and it is not the job of Wikipedia as an encyclopaedia to try and re-translate a word "more accurately" - that would be original research. DWaterson (talk) 21:35, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are overwhelming arguments above that these are indeed different topics. Enough. This matter has been given fair hearing for 6 months. I propose removal of the merger proposal two weeks from this date. Mak (talk) 21:18, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. World view has a stand-alone meaning in English these days and notwithstanding its origins its meaning does not merge effectively into an article on contemplation, no matter how one might try to smooth the seams. In practical terms, I am linking to world view but this link if made to contemplation would make no sense. Prim2357 (talk) 20:55, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. These topics are linked in a broad sense, but highly different. There are long, distinct philosophical traditions behind them both, and their foci are quite different. A closer look at the German tradition of «Weltanschauung» would show clearly that it is a distinct area of thinking than the overall category of «contemplation».

-- (talk) 08:05, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose. I think a good discussion has been raised but it is clear that these two topics have as many dissimilarities as similarities. My interpretation is that 'worldview' has branched off and come to mean something different from its original german background. Clearly these two topics should be covered in two pages with a link in the see also section at the end. Incrediblehunk (talk) 12:04, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I've never considered my world view to be merely contemplation; it's more of a perspective. Note that "world view" also refers to all the various (or at least the notable) world views out there, and the article has barely begun to identify them. I think those push the article far beyond the scope of (and will eventually add too much detail for) the article on "contemplation". The Transhumanist 22:49, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Cognitive Section[edit]

Who wrote this sentence:

"One of the most important concepts in cognitive philosophy and cognitive sciences is the German concept of ‘Weltanschauung’"

I'm a cognitive scientist of some minor renown and I would say this is a wild hair idea. No modern cognitive psychology course spends more than 5 minutes talking about this subject. This needs to be revised. [perhaps this is coming from a European perspective....I am speaking of North American Universities where I have been (Amherst, Harvard, U Southern Cal, and Stanford). This world view concept is NOT AN IMPORTANT ISSUE in Cognitive research or courses]. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:32, 18 February 2009 (UTC)


the existings of life and its bennifits —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:21, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Sense of existence??[edit]

In section Worldview and linguistics first para:

A worldview describes a consistent (to a varying degree) and integral sense of existence and provides a framework for generating, sustaining, and applying knowledge.

Sorry, probably I'm simply stupid or not knowledgeable, but "sense of existence" is kind of incomprehensible to me. Personally I don't sense the existence, I 1. exist, 2. am provided lots of senses as a result of my existence, but I don't sense my existence by itself. Or I'm miscomprehending the concept of "existence" which has a more elaborate meaning within philosophy? (An IMHO likely scenario). Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 16:21, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Material removed pending verification of permission[edit]

I have with this edit removed several paragraphs closely paraphrasing Worldview and mind: religious thought and psychological development. I'm taking steps to see if we can verify permission to use this material in accordance with Wikipedia:Donating copyrighted materials. Until we have verified permission, I'm afraid that policy does not permit us to incorporate the text as it was written. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 01:43, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Six World Views[edit]

the Six World Views: there are six major world views in the world: christian islam secular cosmic MARXISM-LENINISM POST MODERNISM more detail: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:24, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

"World view" or "Worldview"? Consistency needed?[edit]

Although the article begins by mentioning both, isn't it better to be consistent throughout the article? I've found that the psychological research literature (on terror management theory etc) use "worldview" (one word), so that's what I've used. Others here have also. What's Wikipedia's general rule on consistency? I suppose there's value in using both, and consistency has both pros & cons. Deluno (talk) 09:16, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

view of the world and language[edit]

What do these aspects of English say about the English speaker's view of the world: the absence of nominal gender and the extremely limited use of pronominal gender; the simple (complete/punctual) and progressive (incomplete/durative) forms of every tense; the resultative sense of the Present Perfect; the concept of countability and non-countability with nouns; the ability of English to transgress the 'rules of congruence' and treat singular nouns that refer to units or groups (e.g. family) as either singular or plural ? And so on. 'Worldview' is a confusing and extremely imprecise term in any language (consider the wide range of meanings of 'Anschauung' in German). The reference to Humboldt in this section is very obscure.Pamour (talk) 12:38, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Rewrite of a sentence needed[edit]

I cannot make heads or tails of the sentence,"...[I]f different worldviews are held to be basically incommensurate and irreconcilable, then the situation is one of cultural relativism and would therefore incur the standard criticisms from philosophical realists.[citations deleted]" I believe this calls for clarification, if not a rewrite, since it seems to be saying, e.g.Christianity and Atheism are culturally relative to each other, which is patently false and nonsensical. Bettering the Wiki (talk) 03:20, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

? Cultural relativism is not the same thing as "culturally relative to each other". Cultural relativism is a completely different concept -- roughly, it states that there is no absolute truth, and that rather, truth exists only relative to a culture. Viz "God exists" only for Christians, and "God does not exist" only for atheists. Thus, for cultural relativists, truth, goodness, ethics are not absolute, but relative.
This is different from the statement that modern Atheism is culturally defined only with respect to Christianity: the very concept of Atheism mostly cannot exist, cannot be defined, except as opposition to Christianity.
More importantly, this article fails to connect to figure and ground - roughly, "ground" is the same thing as "worldview", although "ground" is usually conceived to be pre-conscious, and buried deeper. Different grounds do seem to be psychologically irreconcilable: they cannot be altered except through brain-washing, or other radical reconstruction of the id. A practical example of this would be the inability for most American liberal-Democrats to understand how anybody could have ever voted for Trump: their deep world-view/ground makes Trump a non-starter, and they regularly profess befuddlement and disbelief as to how anyone could be supportive of him. Yet many voters did vote for Trump (or rather, voted for the world-view that the Trump presidency seemed to promise). This suggests that different world-views really are irreconcilable, at some very deep level. (talk) 02:30, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

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Figure and ground[edit]

From what I can tell, "weltanshauung" is the cognitive-philosophy equivalent of "ground" in the figure and ground of gestalt psychology, and of Marshall McLuhan. But it would be nice if the relationship was clarified/contrasted. From what I can tell, "ground" seems to suggest something deeper, more pre-conscious, pre-verbal. If the "weltanshauung" is an "ecology of memes", then "ground" is the hidden, buried, errr... roots. Is this how other writers express this?

p.s. the figure and ground articles are incomplete and stilted and misleading, and need a rather major update from someone who knows the subject. (talk) 02:39, 12 March 2017 (UTC)