Naugle – Chapter 3

The philological history of “worldview” or “Weltanschauung” began with Immanuel Kant. While Kant only mentioned the term, his philosophy emphasized the knowing and willing self as the cognitive and moral center of the universe, creating conceptual space for Weltanschauung’s application. Since the 1790s, Weltanschauung’s popularity and use flourished. The term was adapted from Germany to neighboring European countries, and into the United States. In addition to Kant, notable contributors to the spread of Weltanschauung include: Alfred Gotze, Werner Betz, and Helmut G. Meier. As a word that arrived late to a system long since living out its actualization, the term “worldview” gained international prominence vis-à-vis intellectual circles of the 19th and 20th centuries.

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