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Worldview as the general dominant cultural pattern

In addition to Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck'stheory, Leo Apostel,a Belgian philosopher and professor, outlined another cultural pattern named “worldview” which we are going to place in the centre of our research. The term ‘worldview’ deals with a culture’s most fundamental beliefs, about its place in the cosmos, beliefs about God, beliefs about the nature of humanity and nature [10; p. 56].

Worldview is the central cultural pattern in Leo Apostel’s concept. The term worldview has a long and fascinating history going back to Kant. It has been and is used not only in philosophy, but also among others in theology, anthropology, or in education. David K. Naugle wrote a history of this concept and the above quotation shows its central importance. The term is unfortunately often used without any precise definition behind it. What is more precisely a worldview? How can we define it? Even inside philosophy, many different definitions have been provided (e.g. by Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Dilthey, Husserl, Jaspers, Heidegger, etc.) [17].

A world view is a coherent collection of concepts and theorems that must allow us to construct a global image of the world, and in this way to understand as many elements of our experience as possible [16; p. 191-208].

Societies, as well as individuals, have always contemplated deep questions relating to their being and becoming, and to the being and becoming of the world. The configuration of answers to these questions forms their world view. Research on world views, although we are convinced of its practical value and necessity will always be primarily an expression of a theoretical interest. It reflects the unlimited openness of the human mind to reality as a whole. Even if this research would not appear to be of any immediate value or necessity - quod non - we still should promote and encourage it energetically, because it also expresses the most unselfish striving of humanity "the desire to know," a property of "Homo sapiens sapiens” [6; p. 152-154].

Hence, a world view is a system of co-ordinates or a frame of reference in which everything presented to us by our diverse experiences can be placed. It is a symbolic system of representation that allows us to integrate everything we know about the world and ourselves into a global picture, one that illuminates reality as it is presented to us within a certain culture [17].

Worldview itself consists of several parts:

  • world model – in describing the world model we use concepts such as "world," "nature," and "universe" in the most general way possible. We mean something like this: "the totality of all that exists, and with which we are confronted in one way or another." We can approach the "world" from the point of view of the subject and its interests. Or we can approach it as an objective entity that shows itself to us, asking ourselves how it is constituted and how it works [1; p. 46];
  • futurology - a world view seeks to clarify the place of humanity in the world and to provide insight into the most significant relations humans have with this world, both theoretically and practically. The future may depend on us, but it is not possible to simply derive it from the past. How will cultures interact with each other in the future? Will Western culture become dominant over the whole world? What will be the role of science and economics in the future order? Who will make the decisions that will influence humanity as a whole? In the long term, and hence more speculatively, one can ponder the role of humanity in the universe. Does humanity have a future that reaches beyond the planet earth? Will we ever be able to bring human life to other planets? Does our species have a cosmic function and destiny?;
  • values – fundamental objects or beliefs established long ago in the society and being appreciated by all its members ;
  • knowledge – the whole sum of facts to which the humanity has the access to, gained throughout history;
  • action – the ways and processes which will lead to the decision of a certain problem;
  • building books – basic religious books appropriate to a certain religion in the society (Quran the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language for Islamic countries, the Bible for Christians, Talmud in Judaism.)

Date: 2015-12-24; view: 112


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