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Humboldt, Worldview and Language$
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James Underhill

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748638420

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638420.001.0001

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What Do We See in the Term Worldview?

What Do We See in the Term Worldview?

(p.14) Chapter 3 What Do We See in the Term Worldview?
Humboldt, Worldview and Language

W. Underhill James

Edinburgh University Press

Various authors contend that the term ‘worldview’ comes to us from Humboldt. Few authors seem to understand, however, the full scope of Humboldt's concept of a language which opens up the world to its linguistic community and which is itself forged by the thinking and speaking of the members of any linguistic community. This chapter explains confusion which results from borrowing the German term Weltanschauung, which is understood in Hegel's terms as a ‘system of thought’, or Marxist terms as an ‘ideology’. Humboldt's term, Weltansicht, is both broader and more specific. It refers to the way individuals enter into an understanding of the world which their language provides them with. At the same time, Humboldt uses the term to stress the importance of speech and creative writing as subjective expressions of the shared worldview.

Keywords:   Trabant, Weltanschauung, Weltansicht, Worldview

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