- A particular philosophy or view of life; the worldview of an individual or group.
“The philosophy professor challenged his students to analyze their personal Weltanschauung development over their freshman year in college.”
“It’s natural to evolve a different Weltanschauung than your family, especially if you move away from them and are exposed to different cultures.”
“The close-knit community had held onto a very similar Weltanschauung over several generations on the island.”
German, mid-19th century
Why this word?
“Weltanschauung” is a somewhat intimidating German word for a fairly basic concept. It’s used to refer to a particular view of life, or of the world in general. A Weltanschauung can be held by an individual, or it can be shared by a group of people. The general elements that make up one’s worldview include theories or philosophies on knowledge, reality, origin of life, origin of the universe, theology, spirituality and religion, anthropology, and the nature of values and morals. These topics aren’t reserved for high-brow philosophers — anyone can develop their own Weltanschauung when they think about their values and place in the world.
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