project WORLDVIEW            copyright 2024                Project Worldview   Home               Choices We Make home        
all our books & publications are now FREE!  

WorldviewsAn Introduction

important: Welcome to those starting the basic Global Education Course here. We suggest you read over the four sections below, study the "Related Words, Beliefs, Background entries" (from the Project Worldview Cultural Literacy Encyclopedia,)  take the four "self tests" you'll also find below, read the We Are The Choices We Make essay, then visit some "More to Explore" links and, for more inspiration, spend some time with the numerous "Thoughts to Take With You" quotes presented thereafter. You'll then be better prepared to move on to choice #1 and begin your systematic investigation of all of the fifty-two Choices We Make choices in order. 

1) Worldviews and Knowledge, Worldview Themes and Examples 2) Concepts, the Brain, Emotions, Learning and Worldview Development
3) Self Concept, Self Actualization, Relating to Others, Values, Conflict Resolution  4)  Education, Beliefs,  Spirituality, Worldview Development and Assessment
5) More To Explore: Links to Worldviews--An Introduction 6) Thoughts To Take With You: Quotes Related to Worldviews

1. Worldviews and Knowledge, Worldview Themes and Examples 
Roughly speaking, your worldview is about your beliefs, your values, finding answers to life's big questions including where you came from and how you fit into the bigger scheme of things and finding meaning in life. Its creation begins with fitting together factsoccurrences in the real world, independent of belief that can be verified and demonstrated to be consistent with experience of reality

More precisely, your worldview is a conceptual framework and a set of beliefs used to make sense out of a complex, seemingly chaotic reality based on  your perceptions, experience and learning.  Besides incorporating a purpose or "raison d’etre," it provides an outlook or expectation for the world as it exists or is perceived to existone that you base predictions about the future on.  It continually evolvesindeed, you spend the rest of your life testing and refining it, based on feedback you get.  As it develops, it increasingly becomes the source of your goals and desires, and as such it shapes your behavior and values.

In a still bigger sense, what a  "best fit" worldview that humanity collectively comes up with ultimately attempts to describe or map is Reality.  The central tenet in the search for objective reality, claims E.O. Wilson in his 1998 book, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, is the unification of knowledge.  He writes, "When we have unified enough knowledge, we will understand who we are and why we are here."  If one omits the word "objective," capitalizes "Reality," broadens knowledge to include not only explicit knowledge but also tacit knowledge (see three entries in the list of "Related Words..."), and thinks of unifying in terms of connecting as making whole that which belongs together, we believe he is right. 

In a philosophy class, one might, perhaps rather tediously, consider worldviews in terms of epistemology, axiology, teleology, theology, metaphysics —and perhaps even anthropology, and cosmology. We believe a more accessible approach is to undertake this assessment in terms of worldview themes. A worldview theme typically links beliefs with behaviors, orientations, and values. Your worldview fundamentally affects what you perceive, think, feel, and do—and how you treat other people, work with them and perhaps join with them in bigger pursuits. Certain beliefs, thoughts, feelings and behaviors often come together in a way that is articulated in similar fashion repeatedly by multitudes of people. Given a name and  formal description, this is called a worldview theme. Project Worldview uses worldview themes in connecting knowledge with human activitymost fundamentally thinking, feeling, joining, and doing—and characterizing worldviews.

Project Worldview has formally identified and designated 104 such instances where beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behavior come together in a way that is expressed in similar fashion by lots of people, and given them formal names and descriptions. Laterin the We Are The Choices We Make essaywe'll describe how these 104 themes are paired up to define 52 choices. But for now let's consider the themes individually. The first of these 104 worldview themes is titled "Humbly Unsure." Its description* consists of 107 words, including: "I can’t forget the complexity of the world or the smallness / ignorance of any one person." Many such worldview themes can be used together to characterize an individual’s worldview. ** Project Worldview not only promotes such characterization, but provides computer based analysis tools to give this a quantitative aspect. These tools also can point out internal inconsistencies / contradictions in your worldview. For example a person strongly valuing both "Humbly Unsure" and (another of the 104 themes) "The True Believer"  themes would represent something of a contradiction in that the description of this second theme begins "My faith in what I believe is free from doubt"—whereas a "Humbly Unsure" someone is full of doubt, just as someone who thinks of himself or herself as a (another of the 104 themes) "Skeptic" believes "knowledge is generally accompanied by some degree of uncertainty and doubt."   

Speaking of humility,
Project Worldview recognizes that characterizing worldviews is very challenging given all of the variables and uncertainties involved. And it recognizes that such efforts can oversimplify the worldview of even a single, ordinary person, with seemingly black & white well-defined simplistic (Manichean) beliefs lacking in shades of gray. Consider the following complaint (voiced in its early days) regarding worldview themes: "I believe that we have to move beyond our desire to place people and things into defined boxes. People are much too complicated...Perfect knowledge of an individual's worldview or more completely 'what is it like to be that person' is only available to the individual involved." But—believing that even an imperfect worldview theme based structure was better than none, and viewing it as a potentially wonderful tool for understanding both people and "the confusion of existence"— it has nonetheless continuing in refining it.***  

* this description is from early Project Worldview contributor Donella H. Meadows (1942-2001)—systems thinker, co-author of The Limits to Growth, teacher, gardener, global citizen and MacArthur Prize winner. 
** for examples of the worldviews of actual people characterized using Project Worldview themes, click here  
***For more on this and other responses to complaints / critiques of Project Worldview, click here.  

Related Words, Beliefs, Background--part 1     (18 entries)                          self test #1 for intro to worldviews

2. Concepts, the Brain, Emotions, Learning and Worldview Development
Starting as an infant with crying to get your mother's attention, what you do to better fit into the surrounding environment becomes increasingly sophisticated. Worldviews develop not only with your increasing language capability and concept acquisition, and as you emotionally mature, but also with your learning about the surrounding environment. Such learning proceeds via a feedback process that most basically begins with sensing you're uncomfortable and taking steps to rectify the situation. Aided by both parents and formal schooling, the tabula rasa of your mind steadily (metaphorically) fills as you experience and learn. Your worldview and behavior change accordingly.

As a child, as you grow and experience the world, you see relationships, categorize, discriminate and generalize about what your senses reveal. You replace the sensory experiences and memories with abstract generalized ideas and understanding in forming concepts.
For example, after handling many similar but different objects rectangular blocks, an orange, a beach ball, a tennis ball, toy cars, a globe, etcyou eventually form a concept of "roundness"that some of the objects handled fit into and others don’t.  The conceptualization process involves observing, abstracting, recalling memories, discriminating, categorizing, etc. You fit many concepts together into schemes, and structure your conceptual schemes into a framework. Though the rate of acquiring new concepts generally slows as you age, your conceptual framework can change as new experiences provide new insights. In this way, your comprehensive conception of the  world as a whole, that is, your worldview, develops...

...As your brain develops and
connections between multitudes of cells that reside there, called neurons, grow. Some of these
like mirror neurons are specialized. They turn on (or fire) both when you initiate a particular action and when you observe another individual performing the same action.  Thus their sympathetic firing "mirrors" the action of another.  According to some neuroscientists, the roots of empathy can be traced to neural networks in the brain with such mirror properties.

but probably too simplisticright brain / left brain conceptions gained popularity in the 1970s. Brain science (neuroscience) today —including a computational model of the brainreadily connects with basing predictions on worldviews.  In particular it does this through a promising new theory about brain function known as predictive processing. This involves your brain's continual updating of a mental model of the external environment you live in—a model which is ultimately internalized inside your head in endless numbers of neural connections. This model generates predictions of what should be perceived by human (or higher animal) senses, and those predictions are compared to sensory input actually received. The information based on differences uncovered in this comparison provides feedback used to update / improve the model and guide subsequent behavior like activation of the motor system, etc. All this can function at a low level without involving conscious thinking. Something similar happens at a higher level within conscious thinking humans—we call this comprehensive higher level mental model of the environment / Reality involved one's worldview! 

Of course worldviews and human behavior in general are profoundly affected by emotions. Most generally, human beings are thinking, feeling, joining, and doing creatures. Later
with our playing cards characterization of worldview themes—we'll link each of these four fundamental activities related to being human with a playing card suits (diamonds, hearts, clubs, spades.). For example, worldview themes most heavily involving feelings will be linked with "hearts" cards.

Given all of the interconnections between how we learn, acquire concepts, relate to language, interact with other people, come to value certain abstract ideals, etc. and our feelings, it seems pointless to try and distinguish where thinking
or any of these other activitiesends, and  feelings begin! Suffice it to say that as we grow, our worldviews can change as we learn to protect our feelings (with emotional armor) and acquire / discard so-called emotional baggage or shed armor. And that mature, healthy  worldviews can be linked to emotional intelligence. Finally, just  as we employ coping mechanisms to shield ourselves from pain, on a lighter note, sometimes we respond to (perhaps futile?) attempts to made sense of the world with laughter!
     Related Words, Beliefs, Background --part 2    (17 entries)                                    self test #2 for intro to worldviews

3. Self Concept / Self Actualization, Relating to Others, Values, Conflict Resolution 
Famed psychologist Abraham Maslow was known for helping people understand something he called self actualization and thought of as the ultimate personal development state.  Happy, self actualized people, according to Maslow, have achieved, "the full use and exploitation of talent, capacities, potentialities, etc."  They are confident and find their way through life better partly due to a better understanding of themselves. Getting to this state begins with a healthy self conceptthe part of one's worldview that includes an organized mental framework of concepts and conceptual schemes a person needs to understand himself or herself.  It provides a structure of knowledge upon which explanations of one's behavior can be based along with future behavioral plans and expectations. Obviously a healthy self concept is an important part of a healthy worldview—but sadly many people struggle along the road to emotional maturity This is not surprising.  As  Maslow wrote,  “The struggle between fear and courage, between defense and growth, between pathology and health is an eternal, intrapsychic struggle.” The early teen-age years represent a particularly difficult time in this struggle—partly due to puberty-related physiological / hormonal changes, and partly due to the fact that children in this age group are often rather lacking in empathy. Indeed many are simply hurtfully mean! While one's self concept can greatly suffer from painful lessons in this "School of Hard Knocks," learning to meaningfully relate to others really begins during these years.   

With growing up and increasingly engaging in a group activity, many discover that joining with other people can be a powerful way to accomplish things that would be much more difficult to do by themselves. And they discover the occasional need to change their attitude / modify their behavior to better fit in. And / or to become more comfortable in relating to others.  Ideally behavior is both driven by, and consistent with, sense of right and wrong (ethics), beliefs and values. Such coherence in an individual's worldview can be an important source of strengthone that leads to increased self esteem, greater effectiveness in interacting with others, and to becoming a healthy, more authentic, more self actualized person.  But beyond understanding one's own worldview, most find that their ability to relate well to other people depends on understanding where those other people are coming from: their feelings, beliefs, values, etc.   

Encounters with those whose behavior / lifestyle is quite different from our own is important in both understanding ourselves and the society we are part of.  Many find that making sense of others' behavior requires understanding their worldview
something that may present challenges to one's own beliefs and values. Likewise, if others understand your worldview, they can better understand your behavior and values. When one makes a value judgment, one makes a statement about the way the world "ought to" beand of course people do this differently depending on their worldviews. Clarifying your values and both 1) affirming them in terms meaningful to others, and 2) exploring the implications of practicing and applying them and being able to do both of these in relation to different cultural traditions or within the framework of various diverse belief systems / worldviews is known as values articulation.  Certainly living your values / "practicing what your preach" is an important part of helping other people come to understand you. And engaging with them in conflict resolution (should disputes between you arise) will be easier if they have this understanding and if they respect you despite disagreement.

As you might expect, differences  in the underlying worldviews are typically of critical importance in disputes all over the world which arise over conflicting values, ethical concerns, societal stresses, technology assessment, environmental or quality of life issues, etc.
Finding common ground, identifying bridge values, etc. is an essential part of working to resolve intractable conflicts. These typically  involve complex issues, communication difficulties, and deep-seated, often unacknowledged differences in worldviews. The people on opposing sides often feel threatened by the other side indeed they may feel that their sense of identity, cherished beliefs or way of life is being attacked. Besides involving conflicting worldviews, such conflicts can also involve material goods, resources, or involve some concrete real or potential impacts on people and their environment impacts that are threatening. Sadly, many conflicts—especially in disinformation / conspiracy theory plagued parts of the world— increasingly involve alternate sets of facts. All of this is especially relevant in the USA today, given the culture war that seemingly polarizes society and, many feel, threatens democracy. Not only is democracy threatened, but many feel that another conflict poses an even more serious long-term threat. This conflict involves what to do about growing evidence of global climate change whichunless resolvedthreatens the continued quality of  not only human life, but the health of ecosystems in general, on our planet.      

   Related Words, Beliefs, Backgroundpart 3    (17 entries)                               self test #3 for intro to worldviews

4. Education, Beliefs, Spirituality, Worldview Development and Assessment  
We believe mature worldviews connect with "the big picture" and what is deemed fundamentally important.  For many people, one's education and learning from meaningful experience of Reality extends for many decades, and their worldview continues to evolve. The previous section was initially concerned with character education, which plays an important part in shaping healthy, self-actualized individuals. It ended with reference to the global environment and thus touches one aspect of something else Project Worldview seeks to promote: global education. This provides a "big picture" look at whole systems. It emphasizes the interconnections and interdependencies that traditional, reductionist education often overlooks. It extends boundaries of concern, and strives to involve the whole personseen as a thinking, feeling, joining, and doing creature. A more focused aspect of global education involves promoting the worldview development of individual people. This is what inspires the global education symbolwith a globe centered on the head of a young person. 

After a traditional K-12 educational system experience, and even a year or two of college, many people seek to become specialists.  Ideally that transition should occur only when one is equipped with a good general educational foundation. Accordingly many people first establish basic working knowledge
and cultural literacy in various fields
which might variously be labeled health and safety, liberal arts,  financial literacy, scientific literacy, technological literacy, etc.and then move on to specialized study set in a particular field of knowledge. While this specialization can provide worldviews with important input, its typically narrow focus is a concern. Seems many move on and never re-examine childish beliefs, perhaps relics of parental biases, from a more mature perspective. 

At the heart of this
and what you'll squarely face in Project Worldview's Choices We Make choice #1is the issue of reason vs. faith. This is essentially the distinction between belief supported by facts and conceptsultimately linked to observation and experience, which fit together in a coherent way as part of a useful, logical framework and belief for which there is no such basis, but instead only one’s unshaken feeling of confidence, trust, and willingness to believe. One's beliefs can changealthough for some it can be a very slow process if it happens at all.  For example, those who once believed in a personal God can become non-believing secular humanistsor atheists can embrace God.

Certainly new experiences and new knowledge can trigger changes in beliefs.
New evidence justifying belief can dispel long-held faith in something. But sometimes knowledge is lacking and an evidence-based answer is not to be had.  There can be a place for "wishful thinking" or believing in what might be called "useful fiction" — which can be linked to adopting healthy beliefs. This is especially true when adopting certain beliefs with psychological benefits (examples: belief in an afterlife, belief in the idea that human beings are all connected to each other in an unseen way.) While many can be comfortable doing no such thing, othersincluding many very rational people find that faith has a place in their lives.  

Faith is often is founded on strong feeling. Feeling connects with one of three traditionally recognized learning domains: the affective.  The two others—the cognitive and the psychomotor (or conative) domains—loosely connect with thinking and doing. Together these provide three of the four Project Worldview theme card suits as in connecting thinking <==> diamonds; with feeling <==> hearts; with joining <==> clubs; and with doing (especially as related to nature) <==>spades. This scheme can be used in a new way of metaphorically looking at something long associated with a broad field of human concern. It is a field whose usual definition is problematic for science: spirituality.

Spirituality is traditionally defined in terms of souls or spirits. Science
—in the narrowly focused fashion that has led to such technological marvels as the smart phones so many of us depend on— finds no solid evidence for souls and spirits. Those who value science, but nonetheless think of themselves as having a "spiritual" component, might appreciate an alternate definition. Here it is: spirituality is the domain at the intersection of what both our thinking heads and our feeling hearts tell us is fundamentally important. And using the words of Manish Mishra-Marezetti and Jennifer Nordsrom, this appreciation of spirituality can be extended into the joining and doing realms. In their book Justice on Earth, they write, "In spiritual circles, it is sometimes said that the biggest step one can take is from one’s head to one’s heart.  In a similar matter, when it comes to justice-making, the biggest and most important step may be moving from one’s head to embodied action."

We can more concisely summarize Project Worldview's interest in promoting concern with what is deemed fundamentally important, with global education, and with character education, by saying it is about promoting worldview literacy. This refers to mastery of the concepts, terminology, and background related to a wide range of beliefs and worldview component themes, and at least basic understanding of these beliefs and themes.  Such mastery and understanding are indicative of someone whose own worldview is well developed.  This shows one has benefited from past or ongoing consideration of many diverse beliefs and worldview themes, and has selectively incorporated a few of them into his or her worldview only after an examination of how compatible they are with the rest of the framework.  

Finally, we need to distinguish one's worldview from one's behavior and personality. Worldviews are fundamental than each of these. Worldviews typically  shape behavior. Your behavior can be succinctly linked to what you do; defining personality is much more challenging.
Following Carver and Connor-Smith writing in the 2010 Annual Review of Psychologypersonality can be defined as “the dynamic organization within the person of the psychological and physical systems that underlie that person’s patterns of actions, thoughts, and feelings.” And note that increasingly the academic psychology community uses a five factor model to facilitate discussion of individual personality differences. These factors are: 1) openness to experience, 2) conscientiousness, 3) neuroticism,          4) agreeableness, and 5) extraversion.

Enough of setting the stage for your exploration of knowledge, beliefs, spirituality, values, etc. based on what this website provides. The "turning you loose" part of your active participation in this drama will primarily involve your looking over descriptions of worldview themes, considering paired choices of them, and reading definitions/ descriptions of words, background terms, beliefs, etc. (from
Project Worldview Cultural Literacy Encyclopedia.)  The Project Worldview website employs worldview themes with a playing cards categorization built on 104 worldview themes (version 5.0) presented on fifty-two double-sided playing cards in the form of paired choices. (Or alternatively in a booklet form.) With this classification scheme, the themes are split into four groups of twenty six with each group linked to the cards suit: diamonds, hearts, clubs, and spades.  (Note: the sixteen most basic themesconnected with eight basic choicesare called meta themes and are on the "aces" and "kings" cards.).

The Project Worldview website and related books can help you step back and examine your attitudes, beliefs, values, etc. Like a good life coach, it can help you with much that's important, including figuring out what you believe in / value, and why. It can help you determine the basis for your beliefs (such as reason, faith, etc.), which of your beliefs or values are justified based on evidence, which conflict with other beliefs or values, which beliefs are important to your emotional / mental health, etc. With the aid of thousands of "More to Explore" links, it can help you  fully explore each worldview theme, choose between related
but often opposing themes, and assess how compatible your own worldview is with the theme(s). Its computer-based analysis tools can help you quantitatively compare your worldview to that of another specific individual, and to twelve other "generic worldviews" (including those of "Humanist Progressive," "USA Conservative," "Pro Science," "Pro Environment," two forms of Christianity, and other traditional / alternative religious, spiritual, and economic orientations. It can also help you find its internal inconsistencies / contradictions.  In short, the Project Worldview website seeks to promote your worldview literacy and help you sort out "the confusion of existence." With this objective—and the hope that people develop healthy worldviews that bring happiness and promote planetary well-being— Project Worldview presents its latest (version 5.0 based) Choices We Make cards and booklet offering. The We Are the Choices We Make essay provides a good introduction to them and how they can promote dialogue and shape our future.   

(Note an earlier approach—version 2.0 and 3.0 based—metaphorically involves looking for answers to life's big questions and "Shopping in the Reality Marketplace".)

                 Related Words, Beliefs, Background
— part 4     (17 entries)  
             self test #4 for intro to worldviews

Project Worldview Introduction to Worldviews / summary using Wikipedia articles: 
behind a worldview is a conceptual system worldview a worldview involves a belief system
concept like a worldview,  your life stance centers on what you accept as having ultimate importance  belief 
 a worldview is a mental model your worldview is your map of Reality your worldview reflects what you value
mindset realistic worldviews can make good predictions value theory

More to Explore -- Worldviews--An Introduction 

Systems philosophy  --"a discipline aimed at constructing a new philosophy (in the sense of worldview) by using systems concepts" (from online encyclopedia)
linguistic relativity, is a principle suggesting that the structure of a language influences its speakers' worldview or cognition, and thus people's perceptions are relative to their spoken language  (from online encyclopedia)
Western esotericism (from online encyclopedia)
Dualism in Cosmology (some worldviews built around two opposites--evil vs. good, yin & yang, etc., from online encyclopedia)
Optimism Bias (from online encyclopedia)
Moral Foundations Theory (from online encyclopedia) 
Cognitive Map (from online encyclopedia)
Predictive Processing (or Predictive Coding) (from online encyclopedia)
Cognized Environment (from online encyclopedia)
Model Dependent Realism (from online encyclopedia)
Memetics (from online encyclopedia)
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (from online encyclopedia)
Spiral Dynamics (a theory of human development, from online encyclopedia)

Why do we have a harder time choosing when we have more options?  (Choice Overload explained, from website)

The Passion of the Western Mind--Understanding Ideas That Have Shaped Our Worldview by Richard Tarnas (info about book from online encyclopedia)
Worldview Watch #27: Critical Thinking, Prayer,  and the Free Inquiry Path to a Worldview
A Few Examples of Worldview Conflicts in Fiction (from Project Worldview)
Links to Scholarly Papers related to Worldviews (from Project Worldview)
Science Direct--Worldview (links to various scholarly papers)
"What is a Worldview?", by F. Heylighen (from Principia Cybernetica website)
Center Leo Apostel (Belgium research group promoting  development of world views that integrate the results of different disciplines)
Worldviews: from fragmentation to integration (classic 1994 paper by Leo Apostel, etal)
"How Language Shapes Thought" by Lera Boroditsky (article on Edge website; see also Feb 2011 Sci. Am.)
"How to Acquire a Concept" by Eric Margolis (classic 1998 paper)
Cosmic Perspective--how embracing cosmic realities can enlighten our view of human life by Neil deGrasse Tyson (essay from Natural History website)
“Humanism and Sustainable Development” by Marc D. Davidson (in Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology  Nov 24 2021)
Three factors explain why it’s so hard to change our minds — but it’s not hopeless by Keith M. Bellizzi  ( from The Conversation Aug 11 2022)
"Beliefs and Desires in the Predictive Brain" by Daniel Yon, Cecilia Heyes, Clare Press (in Nature Communications September 2 2020) 

More Than Words: How Language Affects The Way We Think   by Marielle Zagada  (post on website Mar 13, 2020)

Prius or Pickup?: How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America's Great Divide by Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler  (review by Joshua Kim  Oct 22 2018   Inside Higher Ed blogs post
How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan  (re: LSD and psilocibyn use & worldviews book review by Tom Bissell in New York Times June 4 2018)
"The Predictive Brain" by Lisa Feldman Barrett (Essay 2016 contribution to
"Six reasons religion may do more harm than good" by Valerie Tarico (Nov 17 2014 essay)
Denial: Self Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind  by Ajit Varki & Danny Brower (link to author’s UCSD website with excerpts, reviews of this 2013 book)
The Righteous Mind -- Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt  (New York Times 2012 book review by William Saletan)
Balancing intrinsic and extrinsic values by Tom Crompton and Sarah McMahon (from The Guardian Nov 30 2011)
Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher (NY Times review of this 2010 book)
The Evolution of Childhood: Relationships, Emotions, Mind by Melvin Konner (read excerpts from this 2010 book)
Worldviews: An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science, by Richard DeWitt (2004 book)
Worldviews: Crosscultural Explorations of Human Beliefs, by Ninian Smart  (1999 book)
War of the Worldviews--Where Science and Spirituality Meet, And Don't  by Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow (more about this 2011 book)
Worldviews, Science and Us, by Gershenson, Aerts, and Edmonds (2007 book about Philosophy & Complexity) 
Worldviews and their Components -- A Theoretical Framework (from book Viewing the World Ecologically)
A Worldview Bibliography, by David Naugle (Naugle is professor of philosophy at Dallas Baptist University)
On Worldviews, by James Olthuis (1983 paper offers academic, faith-based,  perspective)
"What is a Worldview?" by Ken Funk (Funk is an Oregon State University engineering professor)
The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog , by James Sire (excerpts from 2nd edition of book)
Worldviews, by Tracy F. Munsil (Christian perspective, on Focus on the Family website)
The Road to Character by David Brooks (review by Michael Gerson of this 2015 book  posted on Washington Post website)
The Righteous Mind--Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt (NY Times review by William Saletan of 2012 book) 
The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently--And Why, by Richard Nisbett
What We See with Fred Dretske (UCTV 2008 program on nature of conscious perceptual experience)
Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas (more on this 2006 book that sketches "an emerging worldview that returns soul to the cosmos")
"You Are What You Speak" (New Scientist 2002 article about how language shapes one's worldview)
"Cultural and Worldview Frames", by Michelle LeBaron (connects conflicts and underlying worldviews)
The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser (2011 book re: how "personalization filters serve up...autopropaganda")
World Values Survey (international social scientists' ongoing study)
Beyond Concepts: Ontology as Reality Representation, by Barry Smith (2004 paper by philosophy professor)
The Foundational Questions Institute ("exploring the foundations and boundaries of physics and cosmology")
Worldview, by Scott Bristol (the values heavy theory behind Bristol's "Life Journey's Maps")
Criteria for Evaluating Worldviews, by J. Kineman (from his 1997 book Theory of Autevolution)
U Turn: What If You Woke Up One Morning and Realized You Were Living the Wrong Life, by Bruce Grierson (2007 book)
Life Strategies--Doing What Works, Doing What Matters by Phil McGraw (read excerpts of 2000 book at Google Books)
Levels of Existence--chart from Human Nature Prepares for a Momentous Leap by Clare Graves (from April 1974 article in The Futurist)
Humor, Sublimity, and Incongruity, by John Marmysz (the origin of laughter and worldview development)
Consilience--The Unity of Knowledge, by Edward O. Wilson (book review of this important 1998 book)
The Life Project by Helen Pearson (book review by Robin McVie in The Guardian Feb 28 2016)

The Interface Theory of Perception: The Future of the Science of the Mind? by Gregory Hickok (September 2015 review of theory of Donald Hoffman)

“The Benefits of Character Education” by Jessica Lahey (in The Atlantic May 6 2013)
"The Myth of Objectivity" by Daniel Klein (article re: how political beliefs prejudice us, The Atlantic December 2011)
Khan Academy (offers over 2700 free videos on all topics, emphasis on math & science)
TED: Ideas Worth Spreading (videos / "Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world")
Free Online Courses and Education (Education Portal website)
Online College Classes (website with links to free classes, textbooks, ebooks, etc. )
Academic Earth ("thousands of video lectures from the world's top scholars")
Worldview Diversity (from teaching about religion website)
Worldview Tests, by Kenneth Richard Samples (nine methods for testing worldviews; fundamentalist perspective)
Worldview Weekend (an "I Know What's Best for You" approach?)
The Truth Contest ("seeking answers to the big questions of life, the truth about life and death")
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Joseph Kett, and James Trefil
Character Education Partnership (goal: developing "people of good character for a just and compassionate society")
Four Spiritualities, A Psychology of Contemporary Spiritual Choice by Peter Richardson  (commentary on this 1996 book by Joyce Ramay, UU minister)
Religious Literacy, by Stephen Prothero (review of 2007 book by chair of Boston University Religion Dept.)
Even Secular Parents Are Religious Educators, by Roberta Nelson (excerpt from Parenting Beyond Belief)
Those Unsure of Own Beliefs More Resistant to Beliefs of Others (report on 2009 study led by D. Albarracin)
Bible Literacy Project ("An Educated Person is Familiar With the Bible")
Belief-O-Matic (a personality quiz about your religious and spiritual beliefs from Beliefnet. com)
The Worldview Quiz (from Reason for the Common Good website)

Thoughts to Take With You:  

"The project of world-view construction consists...[of]...elucidating... the whole of reality starting from certain parts."


Leo Apostel, etal. in "Worldviews: from fragmentation to integration".


"[T]here is in mankind a persistent tendency to achieve a comprehensive interpretation, a Weltanschauung, or philosophy, in which a picture of reality is combined with a sense of meaning and value and with principles of action..." Wilhelm Dilthy, from The Encyclopedia of Philosophy
"If we make fundamentally different meaning of the world, then all our attempts to improve communication...will fail because we may not be addressing our deeper differences that continue to fuel conflicts" Michelle LeBaron, from "Cultural and Worldview Frames"
"If you consider a worldview a private matter and take steps to prevent the open discussion of worldviews, you are in fact imposing your worldview on others; by doing so you...effectively restrict public discourse to trivialities and ungrounded assertions." Ken Funk, Oregon State University
[A worldview consists of]"...beliefs and assumptions by which an individual makes sense of experiences that are hidden deep within the language and traditions of the surrounding society" Mary Clark, from In Search of Human Nature
"An acceptable worldview will avoid 'self-stultification', but will have component parts that hang together as a coherent whole" Kenneth Richard Samples, from "Worldview Tests"
"A worldview supplies a particular community with...basic assumptions about what is real and what is unreal, and criteria for distinguishing what is true from what is false" Center for Sacred Sciences
"Our children long for realistic maps of a future they can be proud of. Where are the cartographers of  human purpose?" World Future Society
"By understanding the processes by which worldviews come about and develop over time we may well be able to map out routes and strategies (unlearning?) for conscious future developments...As the world we live in is very much shaped by the relative dominance /subordination of various worldviews we might be able to work out how to turn the volume down on some and turn it up on others ..." Andrew Langford, Gaia University 

"The urge, the anguish to understand the meaning of his own existence , the demand to rationalize and justify it within some consistent framework, has been, and still is, one of the most powerful motivations of the human mind"

Jacques Monod 

"Thinking allows humans to make sense of, interpret, represent or model the world they experience, and to make predictions about that world."  from Wikipedia article on Thinking


"...the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."  

Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

“Hope is the denial of reality” Margaret Weis in Dragons of Autumn Twilight
“If your plan is for one year, plant rice; if your plan is for ten years, plant trees; if your plan is for one hundred years, educate children.”     Confucius
“Spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred."  

Christina Puchalski

“In spiritual circles, it is sometimes said that the biggest step one can take is from one’s head to one’s heart.  In a similar matter, when it comes to justice-making, the biggest and most important step may be moving from one’s head to embodied action…We must build communities that are spiritually and relationally resilient so we have the strength to resist painful patterns of power and oppression…We must begin building the capacity to live differently.”                               

Manish Mishra-Marezetti and Jennifer Nordsrom

in Justice on Earth

"The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." Joseph Addison 
"I don't know how to describe my life without using some word like 'responsibility' to characterize it, a word that has to do with choice and action and the tension in which choices can be resolved"  J. Robert Oppenheimer

move on to choice #1 to begin your systematic investigation of all of the 52 choices in order. 

I'm ready to start building or refining my worldview using Choices We Make cards (using version 5.0 of worldview themes)

I'm ready to do this using the Shopping in Reality Marketplace approach (using version 2.0 & 3.0 of worldview themes) and explore  Questions For Use In Worldview Development / Guide to Answering 50 of Life's Big Questions

"As you shop in "The Reality Marketplace" avoid spending your "reality cash" too early,  before you have seen everything. " 
from Coming of Age in the Global Village,  by Stephen P. Cook,  with Donella H. Meadows.


project Worldview                   Home