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Today, a worldview is primarily understood to be the totality of personal evaluations, ideas and perspectives based on knowledge, tradition, experience and feeling, which interpret the world, the role of the individual in it, the view of society and, in some cases, the meaning of life affect. It is therefore the basic cultural orientation of individuals, groups and cultures . If these beliefs are reflected on and systematized and thus fit into a coherent whole, then one can speak of a closed world view or a belief system. Such systems can be shared by a group, a society and even by several cultures, as is the case with large religious communities or their social impact.

World views are partly socio-culturally determined (i.e. tied to tradition) and partly shaped by transcultural philosophical or religious ideas. The basis of the traditional holistic and mythical declared worldviews of nature adapted cultures took Claude Levi-Strauss under the name " Wild Thinking ". Today, individual scientific findings can also determine and change a “worldview”.

The related term world view is broader and includes not only personal values and questions of meaning, for example: B. also social and physical explanatory models of the most diverse phenomena .

The normative claim of a world view can be understood as absolute and exclusive; the term “Weltanschauung” also includes the possibility (or the indication) that other opinions are also possible.

Topics that can be covered by a world view as a whole often relate to content and relationships between natural science , philosophy and religion, politics and economics , nature and culture , customs and morals . Various scientists have classified societies according to their world views and the resulting motivation for cultural change (→ see: Cold and hot cultures or options ).

The German word "Weltanschauung" is a loan word in many languages ​​of the world , e.g. B. in English and French .

Worldview and ideology

The term ideology is often used synonymously with world view. A strict distinction between the two terms is not possible; rather, a demarcation just justifies the different uses of the terms in literature, philosophy and sociology. “Weltanschauung” is used more for holistic, less theoretically formulated views of the world and people than “ideology”. The latter not only wants to explain the world, but also to influence it. The conceptual distinction between “bad ideologies” and “good worldviews” (which was mainly shaped by Karl Marx ) occurs exclusively in German literature . The often derogatory ( pejorative ) use of the term ideology in common parlance for manipulative, inadequate or not scientifically founded systems of ideas and theories goes back to this.

Differentiation from worldview, philosophy and religion

Often used synonymously with “Weltanschauung” in everyday language , but must be distinguished from a “Weltanschauung” in the narrower sense

“Weltanschauung” refers more to the systematic, fundamental or ethical aspects, the application of which to the world then results in a picture of the world, the worldview. While in the late 19th and early 20th centuries a “scientific worldview” was often used, the term scientific worldview is often preferred today.

The background is the assumption that world views always contain normative and metaphysical assumptions that lie beyond the realm of empirical research. However, the terms " scientific worldview " and "scientific worldview" are both subject to the objection of falsely suggesting the possibility of unprecedented research.

History of concepts and meanings

18th and 19th centuries

The compound “Weltanschauung” is first found in Immanuel Kant's Critique of Judgment (First Part, Second Book, § 26) from 1790. The Critique of Judgment is Kant's third criticism and contains his philosophical aesthetics . The term falls - rather incidentally - in the chapter that is supposed to lay the foundations of aesthetic feeling: the analytics of the sublime .

"Weltanschauung" means first and foremost the ability to bring the world under an aesthetic-receptive view and to conceptualize it as an infinitely diverse appearance. In Kant's work this term has no decisive systematic meaning.

The concept of Weltanschauung became increasingly important from 1800 onwards in Romanticism , insofar as it opposed the rationalism of the Enlightenment period , which was perceived as excessive , and opposed a holistic and integrating approach.

Uses of the term are documented by Friedrich Schelling (1799) and Novalis (before 1801):

"The world is the result of an infinite agreement, and our own inner plurality is the basis of the worldview."

In this respect, a decisive change in the meaning of the term can be determined here:

In the foreground comes the subjective feeling , the personal image of the world as the sum not only of rational knowledge, but also of experience and feeling. Thus the world view also asserts an inevitable proper right against other (personal) views, and the singular world view becomes the plural of views .

Friedrich Schleiermacher formulated accordingly in the lectures on education in 1813 :

"It is everyone's worldview in which the totality of all impressions is increased to a complete whole of consciousness up to the highest point [...]."

Weltanschauung is not understood as merely subjective-speculative opinion about things in the world, but as a processual educational path of increasing personal integration of knowledge about natural science and history, which presupposes the "highest self-activity of the human mind", and whose goal is a " coherent whole ”.

For Johann Wolfgang Goethe , the concept of perception is understood as opposed to mere intellectual understanding and well superior: the gaze tries to grasp the whole in its organic context, while understanding - which is hearing or hearing as reading - always only tries an editing of the particular that does not do justice to the matter.

In this regard, Goethe's opticism , his preference for the appearance over an intellectual, dissecting analysis, is decisive for the further cultural meaning of the term: it justifies the omission of the intellectual analysis in favor of perception as another - superior - form of knowledge (cf. on this the controversy about Goethe's color theory ).

Especially in Goethe's reception at the beginning of the 20th century, this peculiarity is opposed to other European methods of knowledge as a specifically German - that is to say: particularly profound - way of looking at things : as looking thinking .

But criticism of the buzzword "Weltanschauung", which leaves the narrower domain of academic philosophy, was also articulated early on , for example with the skeptic Jacob Burckhardt :

Once upon a time everyone was a donkey on his fist and left the world in peace; now, on the other hand, one considers oneself to be 'educated', patches up a 'worldview' and starts preaching to fellow men.

The criticism is mostly directed against the bourgeois popularization of the term and its superficial need for " profundity ". Julian Schmidt versus Friedrich Hebbel :

“There is not much to be done with the requirement that the drama should give a 'worldview'. This tiresome word [...] has been so fixed in the catechism since Faust by our semi-philosophical art critics that a drama that does not contain a worldview [...] is no longer considered at all. "

The term “Weltanschauung” soon expands beyond recognition: The dictionary of philosophical terms by Rudolf Eisler simply refers to the lemma “Philosophy” under the lemma “Weltanschauung” or it is equated with everyday language for a critical purpose:

“Of all these words, none of them is currently as prevalent as: worldview. That would have to be a very poor drip who doesn't have his own worldview these days. But I believe I have already shown (Kr. D. Spr. I p. 538 and III 235) that not only the worldview of the simplest man of the people, but also the worldview of the poet and thinker is identical with his language stock and his Usage of language that we do not always have this willingness to speak or worldview completely together, that a person's worldview depends on his general and instantaneous mental situation. In this sense one can of course say that every drip has its own worldview, namely in its individual language. "

20th century

The social-philosophical discussion at the beginning of the 20th century is mainly characterized by a very extensive relativization of philosophical and religious truth claims. The truth is explained above all to the “concept of relationship” (Simmel, 1907), which can ultimately be understood as a socialization of perspectivism . In Georg Simmel , for example, in addition to worldview, there are also formations such as “Lebensanschauung” (Simmel, 1918) of the “human borderline”. In this context also belongs the idea that a world view is a limited housing (which, however, in the sense of Simmel, is also capable of exceeding, of “more life”).

An important contribution to the relativization of truth claims is not only offered by the sociological observation of social pluralism and the construction of social reality (in this sense the claim of Simmel's philosophy of money is also to be understood), but it is already conducted as a discussion in philosophy itself. Initially in an effort to establish a normative - not relativistic or historical - foundation of the relationship between the natural sciences and the humanities , Wilhelm Windelband tried to derive the "fixed framework of our worldview" from the "general law of things".

His student Heinrich Rickert (see also: Neo-Kantianism , Southwest German School ) gets rid of this normative claim in favor of problematizing humanities methodology and understands human culture (as well as social life in general) as a relationship of values (see also: value philosophy and axiology ). In the future, the problem will thus focus on the phenomenon of the validity of values and no longer on its - however understood - relation to reality .

Wilhelm Dilthey tries a typology of world views in his theory of world view ( The types of world views and their formation in the metaphysical systems. Berlin 1919). It also represents the attempt to understand the existing philosophical systems in their connection with life, culture and religion, the specific experiences of humans and ultimately claims to be a "philosophy of philosophy".

Dilthey formulates as his "main clause" of the world view theory:

“World views are not products of thought. They do not arise from the mere will of knowing. [...] They arise from life behavior, life experience, the structure of our psychological totality. "

For Dilthey, this means that the worldview is linked to the concept of life, which in its finiteness only ever comes in perspective and in excerpts to the intuition of the whole that can never be reached. For Dilthey, world views - like philosophical systems - are tied to a person's heart and soul, to a basic mood that supports them. This alone makes philosophical systems and world views with their inner contradictions that cannot be resolved "viable". If different such world views meet, it can lead to a "battle of world views".

Karl Jaspers ' Psychologie der Weltanschauungen (Berlin 1919) tries to analyze the elements of world views in a world view psychology . He differentiates between the "static elements" of a worldview:

  • Behaviors of the subject (objective, self-reflective, enthusiastic) and
  • Worldviews (sensual-spatial, spiritual-cultural, metaphysical).

These views break in existential situations such as suffering, struggle and death and show the character of the human being.

Karl Mannheim's Ideology and Utopia from 1929 examines the ideological struggles of the modern age, especially from a socio-historical perspective. He formulates the idea of ​​a sociology of knowledge that is conceived as value-free ideology research and is intended to relate the general total concept of ideology to one's own scientific position by working out the connection between the respective social situation and historical perspective of consciousness .

Mannheim understands the “total concept of ideology” as the “total structure of consciousness of an entire age” - which in this case is precisely the circumstance of a profound ideologization. Ultimately, the purpose of the undertaking is not only to “correct” the social science methodology and reject the increasing ideologization in sociology (“particular ideology” as mutual ideology submission), but ultimately to ensure the openness of thought again.

The fact that Mannheim almost consistently speaks of ideology and not of worldview, although the sociology of knowledge aims precisely at ideological thinking, indicates two facts:

  • On the one hand, the ideological analysis as a "metatheory of worldview" believes it is removed from the ideological perspective,
  • on the other hand, the term has already become narrower, i.e. H. politically right meaning withdrawn.

Sigmund Freud ends his new series of lectures on the introduction to psychoanalysis (1932) with the 35th lecture On a Weltanschauung . In it he deals critically with the demands of world views.

Romano Guardini coined the terms “Catholic world view” or “Christian world view” between 1923 and 1964, primarily through his appointments to the chairs of the same name at the University of Breslau , the Friedrich Wilhelms University in Berlin , the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen and the Ludwig- Maximilians University of Munich .

Politicization of the term

For the 1920s and 1930s there was an almost inflationary use of the concept of worldview - especially in right-wing conservative and nationalist circles - which seems to be linked to its romantic meaning. This affirmative self-identification of the right-wing conservatives with worldview thinking has long coined the term and is only now beginning to be forgotten.

Armin Mohler , a right-wing chronicler of the " conservative revolution " defines:

“Worldview is not the same as philosophy. While philosophy is part of the old spiritual enclosure of the West, we understand worldview as a result of the disintegration of that enclosure. The attempt to understand the world view merely as a less clearly developed philosophy [...] misses the essential point. "

The essential thing for Mohler is “that in her [sc. of worldview] Thinking, feeling, wanting can no longer be properly separated. "

With this, worldview is almost turned into a battle concept against the concept of ideology .

Last but not least, Oswald Spengler's universal historical expansion of the term in The Decline of the Occident of 1918 is also likely to have a decisive influence on the later National Socialist use of the term Weltanschauung : Spengler's own scientific method of knowledge is not only based closely on Nietzsche's perspectivism and Goethe's theory of metamorphosis (see Goethe: Metamorphose der Pflanzen , 1790.) - and sees itself in this regard as particularly German and profound. For Spengler, too, the history of cultures presents itself as a clash of world views. In this understanding, world views are collective, unspoken shared views on the shape and meaning of the world and human destiny. His particular emphasis is on the inevitability of a once-taken view of the whole development of a culture; it determines its fate to the end. In the course of the history of a culture, only the basic motifs of a specific worldview would ultimately be stylistically varied. For the cultural pessimist Spengler , however, the specific term “Weltanschauung” already points to a reflection on his own foundations and his own perspective, and thus to his inner weakness and its decline.


Martin Heidegger's lecture Die Zeit des Weltbildes from 1938 represents a complex and critical preoccupation with the topic of worldview . Heidegger had been committed to the National Socialists in 1933/34 , while from 1936 - u. a. based on his preoccupation with Nietzsche and nihilism - his attitude became more distant. Heidegger's criticism of National Socialism is not a political criticism, but a criticism that affects all of Western metaphysics .

For Heidegger, the world view represents a means of technical-scientific preparation of the world in modern times , which occidental metaphysics would ultimately lead to. Thus, for Heidegger, the idea of the world becomes a symptom of the objectification of being exclusively as a mere being (see also ontological difference ) and thus a turning away from any form of contemplation :

“The fact that the world becomes a picture is one and the same process as that of man becoming a subject within beings.” [And] “As soon as the world becomes a picture, the position of man is understood as a world view […]. This means: The being is only valid as being insofar as and insofar as it is included and drawn back into this life, i.e. H. lived and experienced. "

In this way, man makes himself the absolute measure and guide of all that is:

“Because this position secures, structures and expresses itself as a world view, the modern relationship to beings in its decisive development becomes a discussion of world views [...]. For this battle of world views, man uses the unrestricted power of calculation, planning and cultivation of all things. "

The term used in National Socialist propaganda

In the language of National Socialism , it was precisely the emphasis on the inevitability of a decision once made and its irreconcilable opposition to other world views that made the term so attractive for propaganda purposes (see also: decisionism ).

The Nazis described himself as an ideology rather than ideology . While one can only cling to an ideology, world views are shared - or not. In the sense of National Socialism, a worldview was lived: it evades criticism because it already determines perception and can interpret and transform all areas of life from its perspective. Thus, at the same time, it makes Victor Klemperer in LTI attention to all possible positions and even degrades the philosophy merely competing conceptions against which National Socialism should prevail as "total ideology" - and by the means of persuasion of procrastinating by propaganda to towards the physical annihilation of all those who did not want or should not share the worldview of National Socialism.

The term after 1945

The term “Weltanschauung” seems to be persistently discredited by the National Socialist use in scientific language, even if this position only prevailed in the course of the 1950s and 1960s. From 1947 to 1949, for example, a 5-volume “History of Occidental Weltanschauungen” by Hans Meyer appeared , while at the present time only a few publications have the word “Weltanschauung” in the title in a non-historical sense. The enormous range or, to put it another way, the imprecision and thus the associative arbitrariness of the term seems to be problematic and unsuitable for philosophical discussion. It is still used in parts of the legal literature.

In current sociological theory formation, the concept of worldview no longer has an analytical meaning: the (from the point of view of some inevitable) perspectivism of both the individuals involved and social subsystems is completely absorbed as interaction systems in the analysis of the communication conditions and situations .

For Niklas Luhmann, for example, “sense” is only a means of reducing complexity in a given environment, which is communication itself - and thus a function that is ultimately subordinate to communication and which is intended to ensure the connectivity of communication (see also: system theory (Luhmann ) ). Jürgen Habermas' interest is also directed more towards the possibility of successful interaction in the discourse than towards a static concept of existing positions. So sociology replaces the concept of worldview , which tends towards solipsism , in favor of an observation of the dynamics of communication processes and intersubjective truth (see also: intersubjectivity philosophy ).

The concept of world view appears in sociology and political science at most where it is a critique of ideology in the narrower sense, i.e. where it is proceeding more in the Mannheim tradition, for example in Ernst Topitsch's ideology analysis as a critique of Marxism .

Regardless of its use in everyday language, the concept of worldview has almost disappeared from scientific and also from philosophical language usage.

Hans Blumenberg summarizes the structure of the term again in retrospect of Kant's invention of the term in the KdU as follows:

“If in relation to the world no perception is allowed and nevertheless perception is indispensable, substitutions intervene, experiences for facts: the mighty for the immeasurable - absolute metaphors , the risk of which is that they, as“ taken at their word ”, lead to dogmatics what in the end means “world view” and what ostensible satisfaction suggests in the transparency and clarity of things. It is more of a conceptual fate than a conceptual history. "

Hans Blumenberg: Lifetime and Universal Time. FfM 2001. p. 9 f.

The term worldview in other languages

The German word Weltanschauung is a Germanism in many languages ​​of the world .

In English usage, both the loan transfers “worldview”, “world outlook” and the xenism “Weltanschauung” have been widespread since the 19th century. The collective and socio-cultural aspect seems to be in the foreground here. Examples of loan formations in the Germanic languages ​​are Dutch: wereld-aanschouwing or wereld-beschouwing , Danish and Norwegian: verdensanskuelse , Swedish: världsåskådning .

Another loan formation can be found in Spanish: Cosmovisión .

In Japanese ( 世界 観 ) the term is made up of the characters for “world” and “respect” or also “human”, “life” and “respect” ( 人生 観 ) and can also mean “ virtual world ”.

In French it says: la weltanschauung . "This German contribution to the international vocabulary is a dubious gain." ( Theodor Geiger )

Politics, Society and Sociology

The world views and values ​​represented by people, their function in personal coping with life, as well as their social commitment and their social function, their philosophical, political or religious roots, can be viewed as a problem of philosophical anthropology , which is unconditionally dependent on plurality and contingency existing world views.

The social commitment of values ​​and norms is in a tense relationship with personal freedom and the development of the individual ; on the other hand, it constitutes identity and social identification with groups by delimiting it from other views of other groups (such as nations and religions , schools and traditions , associations and clubs, tribes and clans ).

The dominant cultural guiding principles in a community determine to a large extent the form and life in this community. Thus the problem of worldview is above all a fundamental political question.

The problem is the extent to which personal and collective values in the shaping of the community being or of the state, ie, at the policy participate should , is much older than the term belief or ideology itself. While in ancient times, the question of the political meaning and purpose and polis (also see with the natural disposition of man to the social community politikon zoon ) and his pursuit of happiness was answered hostility and thus both their origin as their purpose ( Telos ) describes, first, the early modern period the ideological claim to the policy decision back - by distinguishing a teleological conception of politics as “ideological” in the first place.

Thomas Hobbes ' background was the English Civil War and its religious and ideological struggles, which were fought with bitter brutality and - in his view - often double morals. Hobbes considered the moral or religious justification of political intervention to be the basic evil of his time. He responded to this challenge with a political theory (see also Leviathan ) in which the sovereign acts absolutely and autonomously , but the citizen has to abstain from public opinion on religious and ideological questions, as this would amount to resuming the civil war.

The public, critical expression of opinion amounts to high treason within the framework of this concept and the sovereign is granted the right to take all means against it. The only purpose of the state is to overcome the state of nature , the "war of all against all" ( Bellum omnium contra omnes ) - if it cannot stop this, it loses its legitimacy . The citizen thus assumes two identities:

  • On the one hand, he is a " citizen " with the duty of absolute obedience,
  • to the other private person, whose conscience has to remain a private matter. In this, however, he is free and a conscience research of the sovereign is inadmissible.

Since this division into a private sphere and a public task applies equally to the person of the prince, this forces the subordination of morality to the reason of state in practical politics. (cf. Reinhart Koselleck : " Critique and Crisis ", FaM 1973)

The enlightened bourgeoisie of the 18th century criticized the cabinet politics , which were perceived as deeply amoral, and a purely operational understanding of politics as an imposition on human reason , which found expression, for example, in the demonization of Machiavelli and the emphasis on the " civic virtues ".

For example, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in the “Treatise on the Sciences and Arts” of 1750, sees the technical and civilizational progress of his time as a moral step backwards. For Rousseau, the required “reason” is almost contrary to a mere end-means-rationality (see also understanding ). He found great approval in the society of his time with this criticism and worked with it until the French Revolution. With the revolution of 1789, idealistic (and partly utopian ) claims returned to practical politics, the strongest expression of which was the proclamation of the universality of human rights. In contrast to the ideological struggles of Hobbes' time, the ideological struggles are now less religiously determined, but are fought in the name of a higher ideal (especially against religion).

For the progressive thinking of German idealism of the 19th century, the moral and moral task of the state is beyond question: rather , the state is the expression of the moral and moral constitution of man and the proof of his reason, its purpose the realization and shaping of freedom. For Hegel , the subjective spirit is dialectically objectified in its institutions (such as law, society, and the state) and enables absolute spirit to rule , such as art and (institutionalized) philosophy. By reflecting on the historical situation in which Hegel recognizes the connection of the absolute spirit coming to itself as absolute knowledge , this enables the statement ...

… “In and with Prussia - more precisely, at the chair for philosophy and aesthetics at Berlin University - the world spirit comes back to itself. Consequently, everything is also good as it is, since the historical situation is an essential condition for the possibility of knowing the historical situation and thus determining the purpose of history in general: the mind's awareness of itself. "

That everything is by no means as good as it is in Prussia is the decisive point of application of Marx's and Engels' criticism : Hegelian philosophy ignores social reality and the failure of an accurate description of the circumstances makes its basic idealistic assumptions invalid.

Rather, a theory of society should be developed from the materialistic analysis of the prevailing conditions that is not subject to ideological self-delusions. The decisive factor in the materialistic reversal of Hegel's philosophy - turning him on his head on his feet - is that Marx and Engels also feel obliged to the idea that the task of the (yet to be created) social institutions is to make ideals such as justice and equality possible human freedom, which would not be a mere thought, but a real freedom from oppression and coercion. The long history of human oppression by human beings in no way discourages Marx and Engels from the assumption that the end of oppression can primarily be overcome institutionally, since the changed material conditions of social life (“ownership of the means of production”) ultimately also raise awareness would change and make the insight into the historical process general.

The objective materialistic scientific method of Marxism is the starting point from which the awareness of the actual circumstances is gained in order to change the material social conditions. This purpose alone determines the method, so that it can be said that this perspective is chosen and only justified in this respect ( Feuerbach thesis ). Understandably, the objectivity of historical materialism is a historical necessity , not an "absolute" one.

The overthrow of social property relations is conceivable in two ways:

  • Either the overthrow takes place " ad hoc " because capitalism perishes because of its internal contradictions and itself produces the revolutionary potential to overcome it (the " lumpen proletariat ").
  • Or the oppressed class - the proletariat - is brought into the picture about its own interests and the already necessary historical process is accelerated, i. that is, it becomes aware of its historical task of liberating society as a whole. This includes the liberation of the capitalists from the dehumanizing task of oppression. The proletariat takes the initiative because in the existing conditions it is alienated not only from the product of its labor , but also from the social superstructure , and its class consciousness already precedes the general social context of concealment determined by the bourgeoisie . The spread of the ideas of communism is thus an integral part of the theory itself, the implementation of which just proves the validity of the theory (see also The Communist Manifesto ).

For the first time, the choice of a certain ideological perspective - scientific materialism, which sees itself as a critique of ideology and overcoming the ideological perspective - is placed in the service of a cause and its inner logic is determined by this matter alone: ​​the liberation of man from oppression.

In this respect, one can say that Marx himself learned from his criticism of ideology that ideologies are operationally disposable . Since ideologies conceal the material relationships of domination in society, ie in no way depict "reality", it is also possible, conversely, to overthrow the relationships of domination through a changed consciousness, since knowledge of the real relationships results in the right measures.

The identity-creating function and the emerging group dynamics have become a preferred object of manipulation and abuse of power since the discovery and research of mass psychology (see also Gustave Le Bon ) in the 19th century , although the appeal to common views and a shared identity are among the oldest Means of power should belong at all.

The general massiveness , de-individualization , controllability and social rootlessness of broad strata of the population (especially the emerging proletariat and the petty bourgeoisie ), the increase in traffic and the increasing spread of means of mass communication , which were already observed in the 19th century, have fundamentally shaped the political and social structure of the modern era changed and unleashed the possibilities of ideological manipulation of entire peoples. Many theorists of mass psychology saw the upheavals of the French Revolution and the horrors of terror as examples.

The underlying historical process was described by Michel Foucault socio-psychologically as a replacement of mere obedience , duty and external, often physical coercion by a forced internalization of social values ​​and group membership to which - supposedly - loyalty is voluntarily exercised. In this context, a worldview could be interpreted as a solid, internalized control body within a social structure. It would have the function of preventing the division of personality in the conflict between social claims and the individual's need for freedom by largely trying to integrate the given interpretation as sensible , general and normal into their own personality and thus the social constraint on themselves as voluntary Choice issues. Socially, normality is primarily defined by deviant behaviors that are educated, punished or treated in school, prison and psychiatry. (Michel Foucault: "Monitoring and Punishing", FaM 1976)

Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany

According to the Basic Law, worldview is seen as the counterpart to religion. While the latter provides a transcendent explanation of the world as a whole, the world view deals with a world- immanent overall view of the world.

Article 3 [equality before the law]

(3) Nobody may be disadvantaged or preferred because of their sex, their origin, their race, their language, their homeland and origin, their beliefs, their religious or political views .

Article 4 [Freedom of belief, conscience and freedom of belief]

(1) Freedom of belief, of conscience and freedom of religious and ideological creed are inviolable.
(2) The undisturbed practice of religion is guaranteed.

From the regulation of Article 4, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law it is concluded that belief and religion are to be treated equally. From this point of view, the other provisions of the Basic Law relating to religion are read and also applied to world views. A clear demarcation between religion and worldview is therefore not necessary. This equality is expressly regulated in Article 137, Paragraph 7 of the Weimar Constitution, which continues to apply in accordance with Article 140 of the Basic Law.

Article 137 WRV [collective freedom of belief and public service organization]

(7) Associations that take on the common maintenance of a worldview are treated equally with religious societies.

See also


Theoretical-systematic writings:

  • Wilhelm Dilthey: Collected writings. (First mint: Berlin 1911). 6th edition. Part 8: Weltanschauung. Treatises on the philosophy of philosophy. Teubner et al. a., Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-525-30309-2 .
  • Martin Heidegger: The time of the world view. Lecture 1938. In: Holzwege. FaM 1950, ISBN 3-465-02682-9 , pp. 73ff.
  • Karl Jaspers: Psychology of world views. (First mint: Berlin 1919). Frankfurt a. M. 1994, ISBN 3-492-11988-3 .
  • Karl Mannheim: ideology and utopia. (First m .: Bonn 1929). Frankfurt a. M. 1995, ISBN 3-465-02822-8 .
  • Helmut G. Meier: Weltanschauung. Studies on a history and theory of the concept (Phil. Diss.), Münster 1967/70.
  • David K. Naugle: Worldview: the history of a concept. Eardman, Grand Rapids 2002.
  • Johannes Rohbeck (Hrsg.): Philosophy and Weltanschauung. Dresdner Hefte für Philosophie 1, Thelem bei web Univ.-Verl., Dresden 1999, ISBN 3-933592-07-0 .
  • Kurt Salamun (ed.): Enlightenment perspectives. Weltanschauung analysis and ideology criticism. Mohr, Tübingen 1989, ISBN 3-16-245473-5 .
  • Max Scheler: Writings on sociology and ideology. Works in 16 volumes, volume 6, Bonn 2006, ISBN 3-416-01992-X .
  • Oswald Spengler: The Fall of the West. Outlines of a morphology of world history. (First m .: Vienna 1918, Munich 1923). Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-30073-6 .
  • Reinhold Zippelius : Behavior control through law and central cultural ideas. Cape. 1-3, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-428-11456-6 .

Encyclopedic writings:

  • Worldview . In: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon . 6th edition. Volume 20, Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1909, pp.  523-524 .
  • Worldview. In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm (Hrsg.): German dictionary . tape 28 : Weh – Wendunmut - (XIV, 1st section, part 1). S. Hirzel, Leipzig 1955, Sp. 1530–1538 ( ).
  • Konrad Stock, Michael Moxter u. a .: Art. world / worldview / worldview. In: Theological Real Encyclopedia . 35, 2003, pp. 536–611 (overview with a philosophical-theological and historical focus).
  • H. Thomé: Weltanschauung. In: Historical Dictionary of Philosophy . Volume 12, pp. 453-460.
  • Harald Baer: Lexicon of new religious groups, scenes and world views. Orientations in religious pluralism. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau a. a. 2005.
  • Pradeep Chakkarath: On the cultural-psychological relevance of religions and world views. In: Encyclopedia of Psychology (Theory and Research, Cultural Comparative Psychology, Vol. 1), pp. 615–674. Hogrefe, Göttingen 2007.
  • Horst Reller: Handbook of religious communities and world views. Free churches, special communities, sects, syncretistic new religions and movements, esoteric and neo-nostic worldviews and movements, missionary religions of the East, new religions, commercial providers of life management aids and psycho-organizations. 5th edition. Gütersloh publishing house, Gütersloh 2000.
  • Religion, state, society. Journal of Beliefs and Worldviews. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2000ff.

Web links

Wiktionary: Weltanschauung  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikibooks: book on the scientific worldview  - learning and teaching materials

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Dieter Haller (text), Bernd Rodekohr (illustrations): Dtv-Atlas Ethnologie . 2nd Edition. dtv, Munich 2010, p. 233.
  2. Reinhold Zippelius : Philosophy of law. 6th edition. § 17 I.
  3. ^ Günter Kehrer : Religion and social change in Günter Dux (ed.): Religion and social change and other work / Religion and social change and other essays. Springer, Wiesbaden 2013, ISBN 978-3-663-01714-1 , p. 40.
  4. ^ Claude Lévi-Strauss: The wild thinking. Translation by Hans Naumann. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1968.
  5. a b Klaus von Beyme: Political Theories in the Age of Ideologies: 1789-1945. 1st edition, Westdeutscher Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2002. p. 48.
  6. Franz Austeda: Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 6th, extended edition, Verlag Brüder Hollinek, Vienna 1989, pp. 165–166, keywords "Idologie" and "Ideologiekritik"
  7. See e.g. B. Ernst Haeckel: Monism as a link between religion and science. E. Strauss, Bonn 1892.
  8. z. B. Richard Schwarz: Human existence and modern world. De Gruyter, Berlin 1967.
  9. Renate Wahsner: Is there a scientific worldview? in: Science and Worldview. Preprint 368 of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin 2009.
  10. ^ Jacob Burckhardt to Gottfried Kinkel (April 26, 1844) in: Basler Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Altertumskunde . 19 (1921) p. 276.
  11. a b Weltanschauung. In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm (Hrsg.): German dictionary . tape 28 : Weh – Wendunmut - (XIV, 1st section, part 1). S. Hirzel, Leipzig 1955, Sp. 1530–1538 ( ).
  12. ^ Dictionary of Philosophical Terms. Berlin 1899, Volume II, p. 720.
  13. ^ Fritz Mauthner : Dictionary of Philosophy. New contributions to a critique of the language. Munich 1910. Leipzig 1923. Volume III, p. 430. Quoted from: History of Philosophy. Illustrations, manuals, encyclopedias. Edited by M. Bertram. Berlin 1998, digital library, volume 3.)
  14. Sigmund Freud, study edition, Frankfurt am Main 1969, Volume 1, p. 586 ff.
  15. a b Mohler, Graz 1950, Darmstadt 1989, p. 15 ff.
  16. a b Martin Heidegger: Holzwege . Frankfurt am Main 1950, p. 90 ff.
  17. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  18. Theodor Geiger: Ideology and Truth. A Sociological Critique of Thought. 2nd Edition. Luchterhand, Neuwied and Berlin 1968, p. 71, note 8.
  19. Reinhold Zippelius, Behavioral Control through Law and Guiding Cultural Ideas, 2004.