The word “worldview” comes from German philosophy and literally means an all-inclusive “vision of the world.” Nowadays, the word has a more generic cultural or geopolitical usage, often associated with an equivocal or indefinite meaning. This article looks at the history of the word and clarifies its meaning and implications. For such an analysis, two thinkers, Wilhelm Dilthey and Karl Jaspers, both of whom thematized the concept of Weltanschauung at the beginning of the twentieth century, will be taken into account. What follows is a brief depiction of some peculiar and constitutive traits of the concept: its composite nature; its connection to life; its value in general; and its value for each individual who holds a worldview. The article suggests that the potential conflictuality between contrary or competing worldviews is not accidental; rather, it is an inherent aspect of the concept, at whose core is a delicate balance between internal strength and external challenge, referred to here as “the vitality paradox” of a worldview.
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