World view

A world view[1] or worldview is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the whole of the individual's or society's knowledge and point of view. A world view can include natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and ethics.[2] The term is a calque of the German word Weltanschauung [ˈvɛltʔanˌʃaʊ.ʊŋ] (listen), composed of Welt ('world') and Anschauung ('view' or 'outlook').[3] The German word is also used in English.

It is a concept fundamental to German philosophy and epistemology and refers to a wide world perception. Additionally, it refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs forming a global description through which an individual, group or culture watches and interprets the world and interacts with it.

Worldview remains a confused and confusing concept in English, used very differently by linguists and sociologists. It is for this reason that James W. Underhill suggests five subcategories: world-perceiving, world-conceiving, cultural mindset, personal world, and perspective[4][5][6].

Worldviews are often taken to operate at a conscious level, directly accessible to articulation and discussion, as opposed to existing at a deeper, pre-conscious level, such as the idea of "ground" in Gestalt psychology and media analysis. However, core worldview beliefs are often deeply rooted, and so are only rarely reflected on by individuals, and are brought to the surface only in moments of crises of faith.

Origins

Linguistics

The Prussian philologist Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835) originated the idea that language and worldview are inextricable. Humboldt saw language as part of the creative adventure of mankind. Culture, language and linguistic communities developed simultaneously and could not do so without one another. In stark contrast to linguistic determinism, which invites us to consider language as a constraint, a framework or a prison house, Humboldt maintained that speech is inherently and implicitly creative. Human beings take their place in speech and continue to modify language and thought by their creative exchanges.

Edward Sapir (1884–1939) also gives an account of the relationship between thinking and speaking in English.[7]

The linguistic relativity hypothesis of Benjamin Lee Whorf (1897–1941) describes how the syntactic-semantic structure of a language becomes an underlying structure for the world view or Weltanschauung of a people through the organization of the causal perception of the world and the linguistic categorization of entities. As linguistic categorization emerges as a representation of worldview and causality, it further modifies social perception and thereby leads to a continual interaction between language and perception.[8]

Whorf's hypothesis became influential in the late 1940s, but declined in prominence after a decade. In the 1990s, new research gave further support for the linguistic relativity theory in the works of Stephen Levinson (1947–) and his team at the Max Planck institute for psycholinguistics at Nijmegen, Netherlands.[9] The theory has also gained attention through the work of Lera Boroditsky at Stanford University.

Weltanschauung and cognitive philosophy

One of the most important concepts in cognitive philosophy and cognitive sciences is the German concept of Weltanschauung. This expression has often been used to refer to the "wide worldview" or "wide world perception" of a people, family, or person. The Weltanschauung of a people originates from the unique world experience of a people, which they experience over several millennia.The language of a people reflects the Weltanschauung of that people in the form of its syntactic structures and untranslatable connotations and its denotations.

The term Weltanschauung is often wrongly attributed to Wilhelm von Humboldt, the founder of German ethnolinguistics. However, as Jürgen Trabant points out, and as James W. Underhill reminds us, Humboldt's key concept was Weltansicht.[4] Weltansicht was used by Humboldt to refer to the overarching conceptual and sensorial apprehension of reality shared by a linguistic community (Nation). On the other hand, Weltanschauung, first used by Kant and later popularized by Hegel, was always used in German and later in English to refer more to philosophies, ideologies and cultural or religious perspectives, than to linguistic communities and their mode of apprehending reality.

A worldview can be expressed as the "fundamental cognitive, affective, and evaluative presuppositions a group of people make about the nature of things, and which they use to order their lives."[10]

If it were possible to draw a map of the world on the basis of Weltanschauung,[11] it would probably be seen to cross political borders—Weltanschauung is the product of political borders and common experiences of a people from a geographical region,[11] environmental-climatic conditions, the economic resources available, socio-cultural systems, and the language family.[11] (The work of the population geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza aims to show the gene-linguistic co-evolution of people).

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.[11]

Folk-epics

As natural language becomes manifestations of world perception, the literature of a people with common Weltanschauung emerges as holistic representations of the wide world perception of the people. Thus the extent and commonality between world folk-epics becomes a manifestation of the commonality and extent of a worldview.

Epic poems are shared often by people across political borders and across generations. Examples of such epics include the Nibelungenlied of the Germanic people, the Iliad for the Ancient Greeks and Hellenized societies, the Silappadhikaram of the Tamil people, the Ramayana and Mahabharata of the Hindus, the Gilgamesh of the Mesopotamian-Sumerian civilization and the people of the Fertile Crescent at large, The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian nights) of the Arab world and the Sundiata epic of the Mandé people.

Terror management theory

A worldview, according to terror management theory (TMT), serves as a buffer against death anxiety.[12] It is theorised that living up to the ideals of one's worldview provides a sense of self-esteem which provides a sense of transcending the limits of human life (e.g. literally, as in religious belief in immortality, symbolically, as in art works or children to live on after one's death, or in contributions to one's culture).[12] Evidence in support of terror management theory includes a series of experiments by Jeff Schimel and colleagues in which a group of Canadians found to score highly on a measure of patriotism were asked to read an essay attacking the dominant Canadian worldview.[12]

Using a test of death-thought accessibility (DTA), involving an ambiguous word completion test (e.g. "COFF__" could either be completed as either "COFFEE" or "COFFIN" or "COFFER"), participants who had read the essay attacking their worldview were found to have a significantly higher level of DTA than the control group, who read a similar essay attacking Australian cultural values. Mood was also measured following the worldview threat, to test whether the increase in death thoughts following worldview threat were due to other causes, for example, anger at the attack on one's cultural worldview.[12] No significant changes on mood scales were found immediately following the worldview threat.[12]

To test the generalisability of these findings to groups and worldviews other than those of nationalistic Canadians, Schimel et al conducted a similar experiment on a group of religious individuals whose worldview included that of creationism.[12] Participants were asked to read an essay which argued in support of the theory of evolution, following which the same measure of DTA was taken as for the Canadian group.[12] Religious participants with a creationist worldview were found to have a significantly higher level of death-thought accessibility than those of the control group.[12]

Goldenberg et al found that highlighting the similarities between humans and other animals increases death-thought accessibility, as does attention to the physical rather than meaningful qualities of sex.[13]

Impact

The term World View denotes a comprehensive set of opinions, seen as an organic unity, about the world as the medium and exercise of human existence. World View serves as a framework for generating various dimensions of human perception and experience like knowledge, politics, economics, religion, culture, science and ethics. For example, worldview of causality as uni-directional, cyclic, or spiral generates a framework of the world that reflects these systems of causality.

Causality

An unidirectional view of causality is present in some monotheistic views of the world with a beginning and an end and a single great force with a single end (e.g., Christianity and Islam), while a cyclic worldview of causality is present in religious traditions which are cyclic and seasonal and wherein events and experiences recur in systematic patterns (e.g., Zoroastrianism, Mithraism and Hinduism). These worldviews of causality not only underlie religious traditions but also other aspects of thought like the purpose of history, political and economic theories, and systems like democracy, authoritarianism, anarchism, capitalism, socialism and communism.

The worldview of a linear and non-linear causality generates various related/conflicting disciplines and approaches in scientific thinking. The Weltanschauung of the temporal contiguity of act and event leads to underlying diversifications like determinism vs. free will. A worldview of free will leads to disciplines that are governed by simple laws that remain constant and are static and empirical in scientific method, while a worldview of determinism generates disciplines that are governed with generative systems and rationalistic in scientific method.

Some forms of philosophical naturalism and materialism reject the validity of entities inaccessible to natural science. They view the scientific method as the most reliable model for building an understanding of the world.

Religion

Nishida Kitaro wrote extensively on "the Religious Worldview" in exploring the philosophical significance of Eastern religions.[14]

According to Neo-Calvinist David Naugle's World view: The History of a Concept, "Conceiving of Christianity as a worldview has been one of the most significant developments in the recent history of the church."[15]

The Christian thinker James W. Sire defines a worldview as "a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in 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 construction of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being." He suggests that "we should all think in terms of worldviews, that is, with a consciousness not only of our own way of thought but also that of other people, so that we can first understand and then genuinely communicate with others in our pluralistic society."[16]

The commitment mentioned by James W. Sire can be extended further. The worldview increases the commitment to serve the world. With the change of a person's view towards the world, he/she can be motivated to serve the world. This serving attitude has been illustrated by Tareq M Zayed as the 'Emancipatory Worldview' in his writing "History of emancipatory worldview of Muslim learners".[17]

The question mentioned above - on whether the super-smart machines, that is, any superintelligences, as expected by some, could have worldviews - is interesting in this context and this would influence human worldviews.

Philosophy

The philosophical importance of worldviews became increasingly clear during the 20th century for a number of reasons, such as increasing contact between cultures, and the failure of some aspects of the Enlightenment project, such as the rationalist project of attaining all truth by reason alone. Mathematical logic showed that fundamental choices of axioms were essential in deductive reasoning[18] and that, even having chosen axioms not everything that was true in a given logical system could be proven.[19] Some philosophers believe the problems extend to "the inconsistencies and failures which plagued the Enlightenment attempt to identify universal moral and rational principles";[20] although Enlightenment principles such as universal suffrage and the universal declaration of human rights are accepted, if not taken for granted, by many.[21]

The theory of relativity offers a Weltanschauung that is revolting to absolute space and time, yet provides a context for modern theories of electromagnetism and gravity. In a book review for a new undergraduate textbook on relativity by Wolfgang Rindler, Kenneth Jacobs[22] noted that "during the post-Sputnik era, special relativity began to take its rightful place in the undergraduate curriculum". On the adoption of the Weltanschauung, he notes, "The historical impact of any world picture is ... partly attributable to the zeal of the promulgators and to the efficacy of their teachings."

Philosophers also distinguish the manifest image from the scientific image. These phrases are due to the American 20th century philosopher Wilfrid Sellars. This is one angle on the ancient philosophical distinction between appearance and reality which is particularly pertinent to everyday contemporary living. Indeed, many believe that the scientific image, with its reductionist methodology, will undermine our sense of individual freedom and responsibility. So, many worry that as science advances, particularly cognitive neuroscience, we will be dehumanized. This certainly has powerful Nietzschean undertones. When our immediately given, manifest (sc. obvious) self-conception is shaken, what is lost for the individual and society? And does it have to be that way?[23] Some questions well worth working on, then, are those concerning the refinement of the manifest view of such centrally important concepts such as free will,[24] the self and individuality, and the possibility of real or lived meaning.

Characteristics

While Leo Apostel and his followers clearly hold that individuals can construct worldviews, other writers regard worldviews as operating at a community level, or in an unconscious way. For instance, if one's worldview is fixed by one's language, as according to a strong version of the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, one would have to learn or invent a new language in order to construct a new worldview.

According to Apostel,[25] a worldview is an ontology, or a descriptive model of the world. It should comprise these six elements:

  1. An explanation of the world
  2. A futurology, answering the question "Where are we heading?"
  3. Values, answers to ethical questions: "What should we do?"
  4. A praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action: "How should we attain our goals?"
  5. An epistemology, or theory of knowledge: "What is true and false?"
  6. An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own "building blocks", its origins and construction.

Classification of cultural worldviews

From across the world across all of the cultures, Roland Muller has suggested that cultural world views can be broken down into three separate world views.[26] It is not simple enough to say that each person is one of these three cultures. Instead, each individual is a mix of the three. For example, a person may be raised in a Power–Fear society, in an Honor–Shame family, and go to school under a Guilt–Innocence system.

Guilt–Innocence

In a Guilt–Innocence focused culture, schools focus on deductive reasoning, cause and effect, good questions, and process. Issues are often seen as black and white. Written contracts are paramount. Communication is direct, and can be blunt.[27]

Honor–Shame

Societies with a predominantly Honor–Shame worldview teach children to make honorable choices according to the situations they find themselves in. Communication, interpersonal interaction, and business dealings are very relationship-driven, with every interaction having an effect on the Honor–Shame status of the participants. In an Honor–Shame society the crucial objective is to avoid shame and to be viewed honorably by other people. The Honor–Shame paradigm is especially strong in most regions of Asia.[28]

Power–Fear

Some cultures can be seen very clearly in operating under a Power–Fear worldview. In these cultures it is very important to assess the people around you and know where they fall in line according to their level of power. This can be used for good or for bad. A benevolent king rules with power and his citizens fully support him wielding that power. On the converse, a ruthless dictator can use his power to create a culture of fear where his citizens are oppressed.

Streams in contemporary American thought

According to Michael Lind, "a worldview is a more or less coherent understanding of the nature of reality, which permits its holders to interpret new information in light of their preconceptions. Clashes among worldviews cannot be ended by a simple appeal to facts. Even if rival sides agree on the facts, people may disagree on conclusions because of their different premises." This is why politicians often seem to talk past one another, or ascribe different meanings to the same events. Tribal or national wars are often the result of incompatible worldviews. Lind has organized American political worldviews into five categories:

  • Green Malthusianism synthesizes mystical versions of environmentalism with alarm about population growth in the tradition of the Rev. Thomas Malthus
  • Libertarian Isolationism would abandon foreign alliances, dismantle most of its military, and return to a 19th-century pattern of decentralized government and an economy based on small businesses and small farms.
  • Neoliberal Globalism believes that at home governments should provide only basic public goods like infrastructure and security, and do so by market-friendly methods
  • Populist Nationalism tends to favor restriction of legal as well as illegal immigration to protect the core stock of the tribe-state from dilution by different races, ethnic groups or religions. Populist nationalism also tends to favor protectionist policies that shield workers and businesses, particularly small businesses, from foreign competition.
  • Social Democracy claims an economic safety net, protecting citizens from unemployment, sickness, poverty in old age and other disasters, is necessary if democratic government is to retain popular support.

Lind argues that even though not all people will fit neatly into only one category or the other, their core worldview shape how they frame their arguments.[29]

Assessment and comparison

One can think of a worldview as comprising a number of basic beliefs which are philosophically equivalent to the axioms of the worldview considered as a logical theory. These basic beliefs cannot, by definition, be proven (in the logical sense) within the worldview precisely because they are axioms, and are typically argued from rather than argued for.[30] However their coherence can be explored philosophically and logically.

If two different worldviews have sufficient common beliefs it may be possible to have a constructive dialogue between them.[31]

On the other hand, if 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.[32][33][34] Additionally, religious believers might not wish to see their beliefs relativized into something that is only "true for them".[35][36] Subjective logic is a belief-reasoning formalism where beliefs explicitly are subjectively held by individuals but where a consensus between different worldviews can be achieved.[37]

A third alternative sees the worldview approach as only a methodological relativism, as a suspension judgment about the truth of various belief systems but not a declaration that there is no global truth. For instance, the religious philosopher Ninian Smart begins his Worldviews: Cross-cultural Explorations of Human Beliefs with "Exploring Religions and Analysing Worldviews" and argues for "the neutral, dispassionate study of different religious and secular systems—a process I call worldview analysis."[38]

The comparison of religious, philosophical or scientific worldviews is a delicate endeavor, because such worldviews start from different presuppositions and cognitive values. Clément Vidal[39] has proposed metaphilosophical criteria for the comparison of worldviews, classifying them in three broad categories:

  1. objective: objective consistency, scientificity, scope
  2. subjective: subjective consistency, personal utility, emotionality
  3. intersubjective: intersubjective consistency, collective utility, narrativity

David Bell[40] has raised interesting questions on worldviews for the designers of superintelligences – machines much smarter than humans.  'Would they need worldviews, where would they get their worldviews and what would they be like?'. The answers would have to relate to, for example, Christian worldviews. Some of the people who consider features of superintelligences say they will have characteristics that are often associated with divinity, raising big open questions for Christian believers. For example, very advanced machines could, perhaps,   ultimately engender in people a terrified reverence and mystical awe in the light of, say, an artificial agent's impressive understanding of the human condition. And perhaps some humans might even be induced to 'worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator'? On the other hand what would the agent's relationship to God be? Anyone attempting to accommodate concepts such as an omnipotent, personal creator's sacrificial, emotional, spiritual and attitudinal demands being made of any man-made entity, superintelligent or not, could be said to have strayed into terra prohibita theologically, of course. And how would the worldviews of any superintelligences handle the relationships with what it might regard as its human 'creator'?

See also

  • Portal-puzzle.svg World views portal

References

  1. ^ "world-view noun - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes - Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com". www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com.
  2. ^ Palmer, Gary B. (1996). Toward A Theory of Cultural Linguistics. University of Texas Press. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-292-76569-6.
  3. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  4. ^ a b Underhill, James W. (2009). Humboldt, Worldview and Language (Transferred to digital print. ed.). Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0748638420.
  5. ^ Underhill, James W. (2011). Creating worldviews : metaphor, ideology and language. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0748679096.
  6. ^ Underhill, James W. (2012). Ethnolinguistics and Cultural Concepts: truth, love, hate & war. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1107532847.
  7. ^ Fadul, Jose (2014). Encyclopedia of Theory and Practice in Psychotherapy and Counseling. p. 347. ISBN 978-1-312-34920-9. Edward Sapir also gives an account of the significant relationship between thinking and speaking in English.
  8. ^ Kay, P.; Kempton, W. (1984). "What is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis?". American Anthropologist. 86 (1): 65–79. doi:10.1525/aa.1984.86.1.02a00050. JSTOR 679389.
  9. ^ "Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics". Archived from the original on September 9, 2004. Retrieved September 8, 2004.
  10. ^ Hiebert, Paul G. Transforming Worldviews: an anthropological understanding of how people change. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2008
  11. ^ a b c d Whorf, Benjamin Lee (1964) [1st pub. 1956]. Carroll, John Bissell, ed. Language, Thought, and Reality. Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf. Cambridge, Mass.: Technology Press of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ISBN 978-0-262-73006-8. Pp. 25, 36, 29-30, 242, 248.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Schimel, J., Hayes, J., Williams, T., & Jahrig, J. (2007). Is Death Really the Worm at the Core? Converging Evidence that Worldview Threat Increases Death-Thought Accessibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 92, No. 5, pp. 789-803.
  13. ^ Goldenberg, J. L., Cox, C. R., Pyszczynski, T., Greenberg, J., & Solomon, S. (2002). Understanding human ambivalence about sex: The effects of stripping sex of meaning. Journal of Sex Research, 39, 310–320.
  14. ^ Indeed Kitaro's final book is Last Writings: Nothingness and the Religious Worldview
  15. ^ David K. Naugle Worldview: The History of a Concept ISBN 0-8028-4761-7 page 4
  16. ^ James W. Sire The Universe Next Door: A Basic World view Catalog p15–16 (text readable at Amazon.com)
  17. ^ Zayed, Tareq M. "History of emancipatory worldview of Muslim learners".
  18. ^ Not just in the obvious sense that you need axioms to prove anything, but the fact that for example the Axiom of choice and Axiom S5, although widely regarded as correct, were in some sense optional.
  19. ^ see Godel's incompleteness theorem and discussion in e.g. John Lucas's The Freedom of the Will
  20. ^ Thus Alister McGrath in The Science of God p 109 citing in particular Alasdair MacIntyre's Whose Justice? Which Rationality? – he also cites Nicholas Wolterstorff and Paul Feyerabend
  21. ^ "Governments in a democracy do not grant the fundamental freedoms enumerated by Jefferson; governments are created to protect those freedoms that every individual possesses by virtue of his or her existence. In their formulation by the Enlightenment philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries, inalienable rights are God-given natural rights. These rights are not destroyed when civil society is created, and neither society nor government can remove or "alienate" them."US Gov website on democracy Archived December 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Kenneth Jacobs (1970) "Bridging the gap between relativity and the undergraduate", Physics Today 23(12):48,8 doi:10.1063/1.3021868
  23. ^ see Owen Flanagan's 'The Problem of the Soul', 2002
  24. ^ see especially Daniel Dennett's 'Freedom Evolves', 2003
  25. ^ Diederik Aerts, Leo Apostel, Bart de Moor, Staf Hellemans, Edel Maex, Hubert van Belle & Jan van der Veken (1994) ""World views. From Fragmentation to Integration" VUB Press. Translation of (Apostel and Van der Veken 1991) with some additions. – The basic book of World Views, from the Center Leo Apostel.
  26. ^ Muller, Roland (2001). Honor and Shame. Xlibris; 1st edition. ISBN 978-0738843162.
  27. ^ "Three Colors of Worldview". KnowledgeWorkx. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  28. ^ Blankenbugh, Marco (2013). Inter-Cultural Intelligence: From Surviving to Thriving in the Global Space. BookBaby. ISBN 9781483511528.
  29. ^ Lind, Michael (12 January 2011). "The five worldviews that define American politics". Salon Magazine. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  30. ^ see e.g. Daniel Hill and Randal Rauser Christian Philosophy A–Z Edinburgh University Press (2006) ISBN 978-0-7486-2152-1 p200
  31. ^ In the Christian tradition this goes back at least to Justin Martyr's Dialogues with Trypho, A Jew, and has roots in the debates recorded in the New Testament For a discussion of the long history of religious dialogue in India, see Amartya Sen's The Argumentative Indian
  32. ^ Cognitive Relativism, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  33. ^ The problem of self-refutation is quite general. It arises whether truth is relativized to a framework of concepts, of beliefs, of standards, of practices.Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  34. ^ The Friesian School on Relativism
  35. ^ Pope Benedict warns against relativism
  36. ^ Ratzinger, J. Relativism, the Central Problem for Faith Today
  37. ^ Jøsang, Audun (2001). "A Logic For Uncertain Probabilities". International Journal of Uncertainty, Fuzziness and Knowledge-Based Systems. 9 (3): 279–311. doi:10.1142/S0218488501000831.
  38. ^ Ninian Smart Worldviews: Crosscultural Explorations of Human Beliefs (3rd Edition) ISBN 0-13-020980-5 p14
  39. ^ Vidal, Clément (2012). "Metaphilosophical Criteria for Worldview Comparison" (PDF). Metaphilosophy. 43 (3): 306–347. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.508.631. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9973.2012.01749.x.
  40. ^ BELL, DAVID (2016). SUPERINTELLIGENCE AND WORLD VIEWS. Guildford, Surrey, UK: GROSVENOR House PUBLISHING. ISBN 9781786237668. OCLC 962016344.

External links

Alturas Indian Rancheria

The Alturas Indian Rancheria is a federally recognized tribe of Achomawi Indians in California.

The tribe controls 20-acre (81,000 m2) reservation near Alturas, California, in Modoc County. Tribal enrollment is estimated at 15. The tribe operates the Desert Rose Casino and the Rose Cafe in Alturas. The reservation lies about one mile southeast of downtown Alturas.

Conspiracy theory

A conspiracy theory is the fear of a nonexistent conspiracy or the unnecessary assumption of conspiracy when other explanations are more probable. Evidence showing it to be false, or the absence of proof of the conspiracy, is interpreted by believers as evidence of its truth, thus insulating it from refutation.According to the political scientist Michael Barkun, conspiracy theories rely on the view that the universe is governed by design, and embody three principles: nothing happens by accident, nothing is as it seems, and everything is connected. Another common feature is that conspiracy theories evolve to incorporate whatever evidence exists against them, so that they become, as Barkun writes, a closed system that is unfalsifiable, and therefore "a matter of faith rather than proof".On a psychological level, studies show Machiavellianism and paranoia are highly correlated with conspiratorial thinking.

D. Michael Quinn

Dennis Michael Quinn (born March 26, 1944) is an American historian who has focused on the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was a professor at Brigham Young University (BYU) from 1976 until he resigned in 1988. At the time, his work concerned church involvement with plural marriage after the 1890 Manifesto, when new polygamous marriages were officially prohibited. He was excommunicated from the church as one of the September Six and is now openly gay.

Hegemony

Hegemony (UK: , US: (pronunciation ) or ) is the political, economic, or military predominance or control of one state over others. In ancient Greece (8th century BC – 6th century AD), hegemony denoted the politico-military dominance of a city-state over other city-states. The dominant state is known as the hegemon.In the 19th century, hegemony came to denote the "Social or cultural predominance or ascendancy; predominance by one group within a society or milieu". Later, it could be used to mean "a group or regime which exerts undue influence within a society". Also, it could be used for the geopolitical and the cultural predominance of one country over others, from which was derived hegemonism, as in the idea that the Great Powers meant to establish European hegemony over Asia and Africa.In international relations theory, hegemony denotes a situation of (i) great material asymmetry in favour of one state, who has (ii) enough military power to systematically defeat any potential contester in the system, (iii) controls the access to raw materials, natural resources, capital and markets, (iv) has competitive advantages in the production of value added goods, (v) generates an accepted ideology reflecting this status quo; and (vi) is functionally differentiated from other states in the system, being expected to provide certain public goods such as security, or commercial and financial stability.

The Marxist theory of cultural hegemony, associated particularly with Antonio Gramsci, is the idea that the ruling class can manipulate the value system and mores of a society, so that their view becomes the world view (Weltanschauung): in Terry Eagleton's words, "Gramsci normally uses the word hegemony to mean the ways in which a governing power wins consent to its rule from those it subjugates". In contrast to authoritarian rule, cultural hegemony "is hegemonic only if those affected by it also consent to and struggle over its common sense".

In cultural imperialism, the leader state dictates the internal politics and the societal character of the subordinate states that constitute the hegemonic sphere of influence, either by an internal, sponsored government or by an external, installed government.

Li (neo-Confucianism)

Li (理, pinyin lǐ)is a concept found in neo-Confucian Chinese philosophy.

It refers to the underlying reason and order of nature as reflected in its organic forms.

It may be translated as "rational principle" or "law." It was central to Zhu Xi's integration of Buddhism into Confucianism. Zhu Xi held that li, together with qi (氣: vital, material force), depend on each other to create structures of nature and matter. The sum of li is the Taiji.

This idea resembles the Buddhist notion of li, which also means "principle." Zhu Xi maintained, however, that his notion is found in I Ching (Book of Changes), a classic source of Chinese philosophy.

Zhu Xi's school came to be known as the School of Li, which is comparable to rationalism. To an even greater extent than Confucius, Zhu Xi had a naturalistic world-view. His world-view contained two primary ideas: qi and li. Zhu Xi further believed that the conduct of the two of these took places according to Tai Ji.

Holding to Confucius and Mencius' conception of humanity as innately good, Zhu Xi articulated an understanding of li as the basic pattern of the universe, stating that it was understood that one couldn't live without li and live an exemplary life. In this sense, li according to Zhu Xi is often seen as similar to the Dao in Daoism or to telos in Greek philosophy and also to the Dharma in Hinduism. Wang Yangming, a philosopher who opposed Zhu Xi's ideas, held that li was to be found not in the world but within oneself. Wang Yangming was thus more of an idealist with a different epistemic approach.

List of tallest buildings in Las Vegas

The city of Las Vegas, Nevada and its surrounding unincorporated communities in the Las Vegas Valley are the sites of more than 160 high-rises, 42 of which stand taller than 400 feet (122 m). The tallest structure in the city is the Stratosphere Tower, which rises 1,149 feet (350 m) just north of the Las Vegas Strip. The tower is also the tallest observation tower in the United States. Since the Stratosphere Tower is not fully habitable, however, it is not considered a building. The tallest building in Las Vegas is The Drew Las Vegas, which rises 735 feet (224 m) and was topped out in November 2008. This building, however, is currently on hold. The tallest completed building in the city is the 52-story Palazzo, which rises 642 feet (196 m) and was completed in 2007.Beginning with the completion of the Diamond of the Dunes Tower in 1961, high-rise hotels began to become more concentrated on the Las Vegas Strip. The first high-rise hotel and casino resort to rise higher than 492 feet (150 m) was the 529-foot (161 m) New York-New York Hotel & Casino, completed in 1997. Las Vegas entered into a skyscraper-building boom in the late 1990s that has continued to the present; of the city's 40 tallest skyscrapers, 39 were completed after 1997. As of 2012, the skyline of Las Vegas is ranked 66th in the world and 18th in the United States with 176 completed high-rises.In what is being dubbed a "Manhattanization wave", there are over 30 skyscrapers that are proposed, approved or under construction in the city that are planned to rise over 400 feet (122 m) in height. The tallest building approved for the city is the World Jewelry Center, which is planned for construction in Downtown Las Vegas. The 815-foot (248 m) tower is part of a proposal to construct a hub for the world's jewelry industry, across from World Market Center Las Vegas. The tallest building under construction in Las Vegas is The Drew Las Vegas, which has also been the tallest building in the city since its topping out in November 2008; construction on the building was suspended in mid-2009 and is currently planned to open in 2020.

Metaphysical naturalism

Metaphysical naturalism (also called ontological naturalism, philosophical naturalism, scientific materialism and antisupernaturalism) is a philosophical worldview which holds that there is nothing but natural elements, principles, and relations of the kind studied by the natural sciences. Methodological naturalism is a philosophical basis for science, for which metaphysical naturalism provides only one possible ontological foundation. Broadly, the corresponding theological perspective is religious naturalism or spiritual naturalism. More specifically, metaphysical naturalism rejects the supernatural concepts and explanations that are part of many religions.

Narrative thread

A narrative thread, or plot thread (or, more ambiguously, a storyline), refers to particular elements and techniques of writing to center the story in the action or experience of characters rather than to relate a matter in a dry "all-knowing" sort of narration. Thus the narrative threads experienced by different but specific characters or sets of characters are those seen in the eyes of those characters that together form a plot element or subplot in the work of fiction. In this sense, each narrative thread is the narrative portion of a work that pertains to the world view of the participating characters cognizant of their piece of the whole, and they may be the villains, the protagonists, a supporting character, or a relatively disinterested official utilized by the author, each thread of which is woven together by the writer to create a work.

By utilizing different threads, the writer enables the reader to get pieces of the overall plot while positioning them to identify with the characters or experience the situation as if the reader were part of or eavesdropping upon the action the writer is divulging. This aids in the suspension of disbelief and engages the reader into the story as it develops.

A classic structure of narrative thread often used in both fiction and non-fiction writing is the monomyth, or hero's journey, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. First, typically the harmony of daily life is broken by a particularly dramatic event that leads into the main story. Then, second, the plot builds to a point of no return, from where the protagonist – who need not be a person but may be an organization or a community – has no choice but to deal with matters, and thus is tested. At this point, characteristically, there is conflict and the conflict intensifies. Third, and finally, harmony is reestablished by the conflict being solved, or at least explained in the case of non-fiction.

Physician

A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines (such as anatomy and physiology) underlying diseases and their treatment—the science of medicine—and also a decent competence in its applied practice—the art or craft of medicine.

Both the role of the physician and the meaning of the word itself vary around the world. Degrees and other qualifications vary widely, but there are some common elements, such as medical ethics requiring that physicians show consideration, compassion, and benevolence for their patients.

Povl Riis-Knudsen

Povl Heinrich Riis-Knudsen (born 1950) is a prominent Danish neo-Nazi. Riis-Knudsen is best known as the author of the articles National Socialism: A Left Wing Movement (1984) and National Socialism: The Biological World View (1987).

SBS Radio

SBS Radio is a service provided by the Special Broadcasting Service that aims "to inform, educate and entertain Australians, especially those of non-English-speaking backgrounds". SBS Radio originally began as two stations based in Melbourne and Sydney, set up to provide pre-recorded information about the then-new Medibank health care system in languages other than English. Today the service targets the estimated 4+ million Australians who speak a language other than English at home with programs in 74 languages, in addition to more mainstream audiences through programs such as World View and Alchemy.Like SBS Television, SBS Radio supplements its government funding with paid-for information campaigns for government agencies and non-profit organisations as well as commercial advertising and sponsorship.

Scientism

Scientism is an ideology that promotes science as the purportedly objective means by which society should determine normative and epistemological values. The term scientism is generally used critically, pointing to the cosmetic application of science in unwarranted situations not amenable to application of the scientific method or similar scientific standards.

In the philosophy of science, the term scientism frequently implies a critique of the more extreme expressions of logical positivism and has been used by social scientists such as Friedrich Hayek, philosophers of science such as Karl Popper, and philosophers such as Hilary Putnam and Tzvetan Todorov to describe (for example) the dogmatic endorsement of scientific methodology and the reduction of all knowledge to only that which is measured or confirmatory.More generally, scientism is often interpreted as science applied "in excess". The term scientism has two senses:

The improper usage of science or scientific claims. This usage applies equally in contexts where science might not apply, such as when the topic is perceived as beyond the scope of scientific inquiry, and in contexts where there is insufficient empirical evidence to justify a scientific conclusion. It includes an excessive deference to the claims of scientists or an uncritical eagerness to accept any result described as scientific. This can be a counterargument to appeals to scientific authority. It can also address the attempt to apply "hard science" methodology and claims of certainty to the social sciences, which Friedrich Hayek described in The Counter-Revolution of Science (1952) as being impossible, because that methodology involves attempting to eliminate the "human factor", while social sciences (including his own field of economics) center almost purely on human action.

"The belief that the methods of natural science, or the categories and things recognized in natural science, form the only proper elements in any philosophical or other inquiry", or that "science, and only science, describes the world as it is in itself, independent of perspective" with a concomitant "elimination of the psychological [and spiritual] dimensions of experience". Tom Sorell provides this definition: "Scientism is a matter of putting too high a value on natural science in comparison with other branches of learning or culture." Philosophers such as Alexander Rosenberg have also adopted "scientism" as a name for the view that science is the only reliable source of knowledge.It is also sometimes used to describe universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or the most valuable part of human learning—to the complete exclusion of other viewpoints, such as historical, philosophical, economic or cultural worldviews. It has been defined as "the view that the characteristic inductive methods of the natural sciences are the only source of genuine factual knowledge and, in particular, that they alone can yield true knowledge about man and society". The term scientism is also used by historians, philosophers, and cultural critics to highlight the possible dangers of lapses towards excessive reductionism in all fields of human knowledge.For social theorists in the tradition of Max Weber, such as Jürgen Habermas and Max Horkheimer, the concept of scientism relates significantly to the philosophy of positivism, but also to the cultural rationalization for modern Western civilization. British novelist Sara Maitland has called scientism a "myth as pernicious as any sort of fundamentalism."

Scotoma

A scotoma is an area of partial alteration in the field of vision consisting of a partially diminished or entirely degenerated visual acuity that is surrounded by a field of normal – or relatively well-preserved – vision.

Every normal mammal eye has a scotoma in its field of vision, usually termed its blind spot. This is a location with no photoreceptor cells, where the retinal ganglion cell axons that compose the optic nerve exit the retina. This location is called the optic disc. There is no direct conscious awareness of visual scotomas. They are simply regions of reduced information within the visual field. Rather than recognizing an incomplete image, patients with scotomas report that things "disappear" on them.The presence of the blind spot scotoma can be demonstrated subjectively by covering one eye, carefully holding fixation with the open eye, and placing an object (such as one's thumb) in the lateral and horizontal visual field, about 15 degrees from fixation (see the blind spot article). The size of the monocular scotoma is 5×7 degrees of visual angle.

A scotoma can be a symptom of damage to any part of the visual system, such as retinal damage from exposure to high-powered lasers, macular degeneration and brain damage.

The term scotoma is also used metaphorically in several fields. The common theme of all the figurative senses is of a gap not in visual function but in the mind's perception, cognition, or world view. The term is from Greek σκότος/skótos, darkness.

Stewardship (theology)

Stewardship is a theological belief that humans are responsible for the world, and should take care of it. Believers in stewardship are usually people who believe in one God who created the universe and all that is within it, also believing that they must take care of creation and look after it. Creation includes animals and the environment. Many religions and denominations have various degrees of support for environmental stewardship. It can have political implications, such as in Christian Democracy.

Many moderate and progressive Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians, and Evangelical Protestants see some form of environmentalism as a consequence of stewardship. In Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions, stewardship refers to the way time, talents, material possessions, or wealth are used or given for the service of God.

Some pagan or secular views include a Gaia philosophy which accepts the Earth as a holy being or goddess.

The Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat, or “the Birthday of the Trees,” is also known as Jewish Arbor Day. Some want to expand it to a more global environmental focus.A biblical world view of stewardship can be consciously defined as: "Utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation." The central essence of biblical world view stewardship is managing everything God brings into the believer's life in a manner that honors God and impacts eternity.

Stewardship begins and ends with the understanding of God's ownership of all:

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." (Revelation 22:13)

"The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." (Psalm 24:1)

"To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it." (Deuteronomy 10:14)

"The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants." (Leviticus 25:23)

"Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me." (Job 41:11)Stewardship is further supported and sustained theologically on the understanding of God's holiness as found in such verse as: Genesis 1:2[1:2], Psalm 104, Psalm 113, 1 Chronicles 29:10-20, Colossians 1:16, and Revelation 1:8.

There is a strong link between stewardship and environmentalism. What does it mean for humans 'to take care of the world'? Environmental stewardship is typically thought of as entailing reducing human impacts into the natural world. However, philosopher Neil Paul Cummins claims that humans have a special stewardship role on the planet because through their technology humans are able to save life from otherwise certain elimination. This is a modern-day interpretation of Noah’s Ark, the cornerstone of human stewardship being technological protection and regulation.

Wabi-sabi

In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印, sanbōin), specifically impermanence (無常, mujō), suffering (苦, ku) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空, kū).

Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.

Weltschmerz

Weltschmerz (from the German, literally world-pain, also world weariness, pronounced [ˈvɛltʃmɛɐ̯ts]) is a term coined by the German author Jean Paul and denotes the kind of feeling experienced by someone who believes that physical reality can never satisfy the demands of the mind. This kind of world view was widespread among several romantic and decadent authors such as Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, William Blake, the Marquis de Sade, Charles Baudelaire, Giacomo Leopardi, Paul Verlaine, François-René de Chateaubriand, Alfred de Musset, Mikhail Lermontov, Nikolaus Lenau, Hermann Hesse, and Heinrich Heine.Frederick C. Beiser defines Weltschmerz more broadly as "a mood of weariness or sadness about life arising from the acute awareness of evil and suffering", and notes that by the 1860s the word was used ironically in Germany to refer to oversensitivity to those same concerns.

Western esotericism

Western esotericism, also called esotericism, esoterism, and sometimes the Western mystery tradition, is a term under which scholars have categorised a wide range of loosely related ideas and movements which have developed within Western society. These ideas and currents are united by the fact that they are largely distinct both from orthodox Judeo-Christian religion and from Enlightenment rationalism. Esotericism has pervaded various forms of Western philosophy, religion, pseudoscience, art, literature, and music, continuing to affect intellectual ideas and popular culture.

The idea of grouping a wide range of Western traditions and philosophies together under the category that is now termed esotericism developed in Europe during the late seventeenth century. Various academics have debated how to define Western esotericism, with a number of different options proposed. One scholarly model adopts its definition of "esotericism" from certain esotericist schools of thought themselves, treating "esotericism" as a perennialist hidden, inner tradition. A second perspective sees esotericism as a category that encompasses movements which embrace an "enchanted" world-view in the face of increasing disenchantment. A third views Western esotericism as a category encompassing all of Western culture's "rejected knowledge" that is accepted neither by the scientific establishment nor by orthodox religious authorities.

The earliest traditions which later analysis would label as forms of Western esotericism emerged in the Eastern Mediterranean during Late Antiquity, where Hermetism, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism developed as schools of thought distinct from what became mainstream Christianity. Renaissance Europe saw increasing interest in many of these older ideas, with various intellectuals combining "pagan" philosophies with the Kabbalah and Christian philosophy, resulting in the emergence of esoteric movements like Christian theosophy. The seventeenth century saw the development of initiatory societies professing esoteric knowledge such as Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, while the Age of Enlightenment of the eighteenth century led to the development of new forms of esoteric thought. The nineteenth century saw the emergence of new trends of esoteric thought that have come to be known as occultism. Prominent groups in this century included the Theosophical Society and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Modern Paganism developed within occultism, and includes religious movements such as Wicca. Esoteric ideas permeated the counterculture of the 1960s and later cultural tendencies, from which emerged the New Age phenomenon in the 1970s.

Although the idea that these varying movements could be categorised together under the rubric of "Western esotericism" developed in the late eighteenth century, these esoteric currents were largely ignored as a subject of academic enquiry. The academic study of Western esotericism only emerged in the late twentieth-century, pioneered by scholars like Frances Yates and Antoine Faivre.

Esoteric ideas have meanwhile also exerted an influence in popular culture, appearing in art, literature, film, and music.

World Game

World Game, sometimes called the World Peace Game, is an educational simulation developed by Buckminster Fuller in 1961 to help create solutions to overpopulation and the uneven distribution of global resources. This alternative to war games uses Fuller's Dymaxion map and requires a group of players to cooperatively solve a set of metaphorical scenarios, thus challenging the dominant nation-state perspective with a more holistic "total world" view. The idea was to "make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone," thus increasing the quality of life for all people.

World One

World One is a supertall residential skyscraper on hold in Mumbai, India. It is located in Lower Parel, South Mumbai on the 7.1-hectare (17.5-acre) site of the defunct Shrinivas Mill. The site also houses two other lower towers: World View and World Crest.World One was being built at an estimated cost of over US$321 million. Construction began in 2011.

World One's architect is Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the structural engineer is Leslie E. Robertson Associates & MEP engineer is Buro Happold Engineers. The whole project i.e. The World Towers consists of three towers. There were two construction civil contractors involved: Simplex (World One), Muscovite Group (World Crest, World View).

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