The WORLD is the planet
Earth and all life upon it, including human
civilization . In a philosophical context, the world is the whole of
Universe , or an ontological world. In a theological
context, the world is the material or the profane sphere, as opposed
to the celestial, spiritual, transcendent or sacred. The "end of the
world " refers to scenarios of the final end of human history, often
in religious contexts.
History of the world
History of the world is commonly understood as spanning the major
geopolitical developments of about five millennia, from the first
civilizations to the present. In terms such as world religion , world
language , world government , and world war , world suggests
international or intercontinental scope without necessarily implying
participation of the entire world.
World population is the sum of all human populations at any time;
similarly, world economy is the sum of the economies of all societies
or countries, especially in the context of globalization . Terms like
world championship , gross world product , world flags imply the sum
or combination of all current-day sovereign states .
* 1 Etymology and usage
* 2 Philosophy
* 2.3 Hegel
* 2.4 Schopenhauer
* 2.5 Wittgenstein
* 2.6 Heidegger
* 2.7 Freud
* 2.8 Other
* 3 Religion and mythology
* 3.2.1 Eastern
* 3.2.2 Orbis Catholicus
* 3.3 Islam
* 4 See also
* 5 References
* 6 External links
ETYMOLOGY AND USAGE
The English word world comes from the
Old English weorold (-uld),
weorld, worold (-uld, -eld), a compound of wer "man" and eld "age,"
which thus means roughly "Age of Man." The
Old English is a reflex of
Common Germanic *wira-alđiz, also reflected in
Old Saxon werold,
Old Dutch werilt,
Old High German
Old High German weralt,
Old Frisian warld and Old
Norse verǫld (whence the Icelandic veröld).
The corresponding word in
Latin is mundus, literally "clean,
elegant", itself a loan translation of Greek cosmos "orderly
arrangement." While the Germanic word thus reflects a mythological
notion of a "domain of Man" (compare
Midgard ), presumably as opposed
to the divine sphere on the one hand and the chthonic sphere of the
underworld on the other, the Greco-
Latin term expresses a notion of
creation as an act of establishing order out of chaos .
'World' distinguishes the entire planet or population from any
particular country or region : world affairs pertain not just to one
place but to the whole world, and world history is a field of history
that examines events from a global (rather than a national or a
regional) perspective. Earth, on the other hand, refers to the planet
as a physical entity, and distinguishes it from other planets and
'World' was also classically used to mean the material universe, or
the cosmos: "The worlde is an apte frame of heauen and earthe, and all
other naturall thinges contained in them." The earth was often
described as 'the center of the world'.
'World' can also be used attributively, to mean 'global', 'relating
to the whole world', forming usages such as world community or world
By extension, a 'world' may refer to any planet or heavenly body ,
especially when it is thought of as inhabited, especially in the
context of science fiction or futurology .
'World', in its original sense, when qualified, can also refer to a
particular domain of human experience .
* The world of work describes paid work and the pursuit of a career
, in all its social aspects, to distinguish it from home life and
* The fashion world describes the environment of the designers,
fashion houses and consumers that make up the fashion industry .
* historically, the
New World vs. the
Old World , referring to the
parts of the world colonized in the wake of the age of discovery . Now
mostly used in zoology and botany, as in
New World monkey .
The Garden of Earthly Delights triptych by
Hieronymus Bosch (c.
1503) shows the "garden" of mundane pleasures flanked by
Hell . The exterior panel shows the world before the appearance of
humanity, depicted as a disc enclosed in a sphere .
In philosophy, the term world has several possible meanings. In some
contexts, it refers to everything that makes up reality or the
physical universe . In others, it can mean have a specific ontological
sense (see world disclosure ). While clarifying the concept of world
has arguably always been among the basic tasks of
Western philosophy ,
this theme appears to have been raised explicitly only at the start of
the twentieth century and has been the subject of continuous debate.
The question of what the world is has by no means been settled.
The traditional interpretation of
Parmenides ' work is that he argued
that the everyday perception of reality of the physical world (as
described in doxa ) is mistaken, and that the reality of the world is
'One Being' (as described in aletheia): an unchanging, ungenerated,
Allegory of the Cave
Allegory of the Cave ,
Plato distinguishes between forms and
ideas and imagines two distinct worlds: the sensible world and the
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel 's philosophy of history , the
expression Weltgeschichte ist Weltgericht (
History is a tribunal
that judges the World) is used to assert the view that
History is what
judges men, their actions and their opinions. Science is born from the
desire to transform the
World in relation to Man; its final end is
The World as Will and Representation is the central work of Arthur
Schopenhauer . Schopenhauer saw the human will as our one window to
the world behind the representation; the Kantian thing-in-itself. He
believed, therefore, that we could gain knowledge about the
thing-in-itself, something Kant said was impossible, since the rest of
the relationship between representation and thing-in-itself could be
understood by analogy to the relationship between human will and human
Two definitions that were both put forward in the 1920s, however,
suggest the range of available opinion. "The world is everything that
is the case," wrote
Ludwig Wittgenstein in his influential Tractatus
Logico-Philosophicus , first published in 1922. This definition would
serve as the basis of logical positivism , with its assumption that
there is exactly one world, consisting of the totality of facts,
regardless of the interpretations that individual people may make of
Martin Heidegger , meanwhile, argued that "the surrounding world is
different for each of us, and notwithstanding that we move about in a
common world". The world, for Heidegger, was that into which we are
always already "thrown" and with which we, as beings-in-the-world,
must come to terms. His conception of "world disclosure " was most
notably elaborated in his 1927 work
Being and Time .
Sigmund Freud proposed that we do not move about in a
common world, but a common thought process. He believed that all the
actions of a person are motivated by one thing: lust. This led to
numerous theories about reactionary consciousness.
Some philosophers, often inspired by David Lewis , argue that
metaphysical concepts such as possibility, probability, and necessity
are best analyzed by comparing the world to a range of possible worlds
; a view commonly known as modal realism .
RELIGION AND MYTHOLOGY
Yggdrasil , a modern attempt to reconstruct the Norse world tree
which connects the heavens , the world, and the underworld .
Mythological cosmologies often depict the world as centered on an
axis mundi and delimited by a boundary such as a world ocean , a world
serpent or similar. In some religions, worldliness (also called
carnality) is that which relates to this world as opposed to other
worlds or realms.
Buddhism , the world means society, as distinct from the monastery
. It refers to the material world, and to worldly gain such as wealth,
reputation, jobs, and war. The spiritual world would be the path to
enlightenment , and changes would be sought in what we could call the
Christianity , the term often connotes the concept of the fallen
and corrupt world order of human society, in contrast to the
Come . The world is frequently cited alongside the flesh and the Devil
as a source of temptation that Christians should flee. Monks speak of
striving to be "in this world, but not of this world"—as Jesus
said—and the term "worldhood" has been distinguished from
"monkhood", the former being the status of merchants, princes, and
others who deal with "worldly" things.
This view is clearly expressed by king
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great of England
(d. 899) in his famous Preface to the
Cura Pastoralis :
"Therefore I command you to do as I believe you are willing to do,
that you free yourself from worldly affairs (
Old English :
woruldðinga) as often as you can, so that wherever you can establish
that wisdom that God gave you, you establish it. Consider what
punishments befell us in this world when we neither loved wisdom at
all ourselves, nor transmitted it to other men; we had the name alone
that we were Christians, and very few had the practices."
Although Hebrew and Greek words meaning "world" are used in Scripture
with the normal variety of senses, many examples of its use in this
particular sense can be found in the teachings of
Jesus according to
Gospel of John
Gospel of John , e.g. 7:7, 8:23, 12:25, 14:17, 15:18-19, 17:6-25,
18:36. For contrast, a relatively newer concept is Catholic
Contemptus mundi is the name given to the recognition that the world,
in all its vanity, is nothing more than a futile attempt to hide from
God by stifling our desire for the good and the holy. This view has
been criticized as a "pastoral of fear" by modern historian Jean
Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council , there was a novel attempt to
develop a positive theological view of the World, which is illustrated
by the pastoral optimism of the constitutions
Gaudium et spes , Lumen
Unitatis redintegratio and
Dignitatis humanae .
In Eastern Christian monasticism or asceticism the world of mankind
is driven by passions. Therefore, the passions of the
World are simply
called "the world". Each of these passions are a link to the world of
mankind or order of human society. Each of these passions must be
overcome in order for a person to receive salvation (theosis ). The
process of theosis is a personal relationship with God. This
understanding is taught within the works of ascetics like Evagrius
Ponticus , and the most seminal ascetic works read most widely by
Eastern Christians, the
Philokalia and the Ladder of Divine Ascent
(the works of Evagrius and
John Climacus are also contained within the
Philokalia). At the highest level of world transcendence is hesychasm
which culminates into the Vision of God .
Orbis Catholicus is a
Latin phrase meaning Catholic world, per the
Urbi et Orbi , and refers to that area of
papal supremacy . It is somewhat similar to the phrases secular world,
Jewish world and
Islamic world .
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* ^ Merriam-webster.com
* ^ American Heritage Dictionary
* ^ Orel, Vladimir (2003). A Handbook of Germanic Etymology Leiden:
Brill. pg. 462. ISBN 90-04-12875-1 .
* ^ Record, R (1556). Castle of Knowledge. cited in The Oxford
English Dictionary. World, sense 8. (Subscription required (help)).
* ^ e.g. Sacrobosco (1230). Treatise on the Sphere. trans by Lynn
World Canonical Texts
* ^ Heidegger, Martin (1982). Basic Problems of Phenomenology.
Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 165. ISBN 0-253-17686-7 . .
* ^ Heidegger (1982), p. 164.
* ^ Contemptus mundi
* ^ Parish