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Centrum för kognitiv semiotik (CCS)

Humanistiska och teologiska fakulteterna | Lunds universitet

2011-11-23

On World Views (in Pictures)

Michael Ranta

What are world views? Loosely put, a world view may, perhaps, as suggested by the anthropologist Michael Kearney, be outlined as a “way of looking at reality, [which] …consists of basic assumptions and images [i.e. mental representations] that provide a more or less coherent, though not necessarily accurate, way of thinking about the world.”  Or, as the narratologist Werner Wolf has proposed, a world view “can be defined as any system of meaning, be it of a commonsensical, religious, philosophical, political, ideological or scientific nature, that seeks to provide answers to basic and general questions bearing on human existence in addition to addressing further, more particular issues (concerning, for instance, details of the conception of society, ethics, aesthetics, etc.).”

While there certainly is no general consensus, globally and historically seen, concerning the nature of reality and our relation to it (at least not in all respects), it still might be possible to distinguish between certain general modes of conceptualization necessary for people to interact with themselves and with their environment.

The purpose of this seminar is to discuss the concept of world view (and cognates or overlapping notions such as “Weltbild”, “Weltanschauung”, lifeworld etc.), the possible necessity of having world views, some of their basic constituents –- and their possible manifestation in pictorial representations.

More specifically, this seminar is intended as an opportunity to discuss an article draft of mine.

Please have a look at this:

http://cogprints.org/6094/2/Vidal_2008-what-is-a-worldview.pdf (PDF)

And you could have a quick glance at this:

http://www.vub.ac.be/CLEA/pub/all.html