The world is the planet Earth and all life on it, including human civilization.In a philosophical context, the "world" is the whole of the physical Universe, or an ontological world (the "world" of an individual). In a theological context, the world is the material or the profane sphere, as opposed to the celestial, spiritual, transcendent or sacred spheres. "End of the world" scenarios refer to the end of human history, often in religious contexts.
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. According to radiometric dating and other sources of evidence, Earth formed over 4.5 billion years ago. Earth's gravity interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moon, Earth's only natural satellite. Earth revolves around the Sun in 365.26 days, a period known as an Earth year. During this time, Earth rotates about its axis about 366.26 times.
Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased, or because they never had such functions and are classified as inanimate. Various forms of life exist, such as plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria. The criteria can at times be ambiguous and may or may not define viruses, viroids, or potential synthetic life as "living". Biology is the science concerned with the study of life.
The Universe is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. While the spatial size of the entire Universe is unknown, it is possible to measure the size of the observable universe, which is currently estimated to be 93 billion light years in diameter. In various multiverse hypotheses, a universe is one of many causally disconnected constituent parts of a larger multiverse, which itself comprises all of space and time and its contents.
The history of the world is commonly understood as spanning the major geopolitical developments of about five millennia, from the first civilizations to the present. In terms such as world religion, world language, world government, and world war, the term world suggests an international or intercontinental scope without necessarily implying participation of every part of the world.
The history of the world, in common parlance, is the history of humanity, as determined from archaeology, anthropology, genetics, linguistics, and other disciplines; and, for periods since the invention of writing, from recorded history and from secondary sources and studies.
A cradle of civilization is a location where civilization is understood to have emerged. Current thinking is that there was no single "cradle", but several civilizations that developed independently, with the Fertile Crescent, Ancient India and Ancient China understood to be the earliest. The extent to which there was significant influence between the early civilizations of the Near East and those of East Asia is disputed. Scholars accept that the civilizations of Mesoamerica, mainly in modern Mexico, and Norte Chico, in the north-central coastal region of Peru, emerged independently from those in Eurasia.
A world language is spoken internationally and is learned and spoken by a large number of people as a second language. A world language is characterized not only by the total number of speakers, but also by its geographical distribution, as well as use in international organizations and diplomatic relations. One of the most widely spoken and fastest spreading world languages today is English, which has over 1.1 billion first- and second-language users worldwide.
The world population is the sum of all human populations at any time; similarly, the world economy is the sum of the economies of all societies or countries, especially in the context of globalization. Terms such as "world championship", "gross world product", and "world flags" imply the sum or combination of all sovereign states.
In demographics, the world population is the total number of humans currently living, and was estimated to have reached 7.7 billion people as of April 2019. It took over 200,000 years of human history for the world's population to reach 1 billion; and only 200 years more to reach 7 billion.
The world economy or global economy is the economy of the humans of the world, considered as the international exchange of goods and services that is expressed in monetary units of account. In some contexts, the two terms are distinct "international" or "global economy" being measured separately and distinguished from national economies while the "world economy" is simply an aggregate of the separate countries' measurements. Beyond the minimum standard concerning value in production, use and exchange the definitions, representations, models and valuations of the world economy vary widely. It is inseparable from the geography and ecology of Earth.
Globalization or globalisation is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. As a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, globalization is considered by some as a form of capitalist expansion which entails the integration of local and national economies into a global, unregulated market economy. Globalization has grown due to advances in transportation and communication technology. With the increased global interactions comes the growth of international trade, ideas, and culture. Globalization is primarily an economic process of interaction and integration that's associated with social and cultural aspects. However, conflicts and diplomacy are also large parts of the history of globalization, and modern globalization.
The English word world comes from the Old English weorold (-uld), weorld, worold (-uld, -eld), a compound of wer "man" and eld "age," which thus means roughly "Age of Man."The Old English is a reflex of the Common Germanic *wira-alđiz, also reflected in Old Saxon werold, Old Dutch werilt, Old High German weralt, Old Frisian warld and Old Norse verǫld (whence the Icelandic veröld ).
English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.
Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers probably in the mid-5th century, and the first Old English literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, as the language of the upper classes by Anglo-Norman, a relative of French. This is regarded as marking the end of the Old English era, as during this period the English language was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English.
Were and wer are archaic terms for adult male humans and were often used for alliteration with wife as "were and wife" in Germanic-speaking cultures, and in the Old English construction werman, paired with the parallel wifman, denoting males and females respectively, which share structure with the current English woman..
The corresponding word in Latin is mundus, literally "clean, elegant", itself a loan translation of Greek cosmos "orderly arrangement." While the Germanic word thus reflects a mythological notion of a "domain of Man" (compare Midgard), presumably as opposed to the divine sphere on the one hand and the chthonic sphere of the underworld on the other, the Greco-Latin term expresses a notion of creation as an act of establishing order out of chaos.
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
The cosmos is the universe. Using the word cosmos rather than the word universe implies viewing the universe as a complex and orderly system or entity; the opposite of chaos. The cosmos, and our understanding of the reasons for its existence and significance, are studied in cosmology – a very broad discipline covering any scientific, religious, or philosophical contemplation of the cosmos and its nature, or reasons for existing. Religious and philosophical approaches may include in their concepts of the cosmos various spiritual entities or other matters deemed to exist outside our physical universe.
Midgard is the name for Earth inhabited by and known to humans in early Germanic cosmology, and specifically one of the Nine Worlds in Norse mythology.
"World" distinguishes the entire planet or population from any particular country or region: world affairs pertain not just to one place but to the whole world, and world history is a field of history that examines events from a global (rather than a national or a regional) perspective. Earth, on the other hand, refers to the planet as a physical entity, and distinguishes it from other planets and physical objects.
A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals.
In biology, a population is all the organisms of the same group or species, which live in a particular geographical area, and have the capability of interbreeding. The area of a sexual population is the area where inter-breeding is potentially possible between any pair within the area, and where the probability of interbreeding is greater than the probability of cross-breeding with individuals from other areas.
A country is a region that is identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated people with distinct political characteristics. Regardless of the physical geography, in the modern internationally accepted legal definition as defined by the League of Nations in 1937 and reaffirmed by the United Nations in 1945, a resident of a country is subject to the independent exercise of legal jurisdiction. There is no hard and fast definition of what regions are countries and which are not.
"World" was also classically used to mean the material universe, or the cosmos: "The worlde is an apte frame of heauen and earthe, and all other naturall thinges contained in them."The earth was often described as "the center of the world".
The term can also be used attributively, to mean "global", or "relating to the whole world", forming usages such as world community or world canonical texts.
By extension, a world may refer to any planet or heavenly body, especially when it is thought of as inhabited, especially in the context of science fiction or futurology.
World, in its original sense, when qualified, can also refer to a particular domain of human experience.
In philosophy, the term world has several possible meanings. In some contexts, it refers to everything that makes up reality or the physical universe. In others, it can mean have a specific ontological sense (see world disclosure). While clarifying the concept of world has arguably always been among the basic tasks of Western philosophy, this theme appears to have been raised explicitly only at the start of the twentieth centuryand has been the subject of continuous debate. The question of what the world is has by no means been settled.
The traditional interpretation of Parmenides' work is that he argued that the everyday perception of reality of the physical world (as described in doxa ) is mistaken, and that the reality of the world is 'One Being' (as described in aletheia): an unchanging, ungenerated, indestructible whole.
In his Allegory of the Cave, Plato distinguishes between forms and ideas and imagines two distinct worlds: the sensible world and the intelligible world.
In Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's philosophy of history, the expression Weltgeschichte ist Weltgericht (World History is a tribunal that judges the World) is used to assert the view that History is what judges men, their actions and their opinions. Science is born from the desire to transform the World in relation to Man; its final end is technical application.
The World as Will and Representation is the central work of Arthur Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer saw the human will as our one window to the world behind the representation; the Kantian thing-in-itself. He believed, therefore, that we could gain knowledge about the thing-in-itself, something Kant said was impossible, since the rest of the relationship between representation and thing-in-itself could be understood by analogy to the relationship between human will and human body.
Two definitions that were both put forward in the 1920s, however, suggest the range of available opinion. "The world is everything that is the case," wrote Ludwig Wittgenstein in his influential Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , first published in 1921.This definition would serve as the basis of logical positivism, with its assumption that there is exactly one world, consisting of the totality of facts, regardless of the interpretations that individual people may make of them.
Martin Heidegger, meanwhile, argued that "the surrounding world is different for each of us, and notwithstanding that we move about in a common world".The world, for Heidegger, was that into which we are always already "thrown" and with which we, as beings-in-the-world, must come to terms. His conception of "world disclosure" was most notably elaborated in his 1927 work Being and Time .
In response, Sigmund Freud proposed that we do not move about in a common world, but a common thought process. He believed that all the actions of a person are motivated by one thing: lust. This led to numerous theories about reactionary consciousness.
Some philosophers, often inspired by David Lewis, argue that metaphysical concepts such as possibility, probability, and necessity are best analyzed by comparing the world to a range of possible worlds; a view commonly known as modal realism.
Mythological cosmologies often depict the world as centered on an axis mundi and delimited by a boundary such as a world ocean, a world serpent or similar. In some religions, worldliness (also called carnality)is that which relates to this world as opposed to other worlds or realms.
In Buddhism, the world means society, as distinct from the monastery. It refers to the material world, and to worldly gain such as wealth, reputation, jobs, and war. The spiritual world would be the path to enlightenment, and changes would be sought in what we could call the psychological realm.
In Christianity, the term often connotes the concept of the fallen and corrupt world order of human society, in contrast to the World to Come. The world is frequently cited alongside the flesh and the Devil as a source of temptation that Christians should flee. Monks speak of striving to be "in this world, but not of this world"—as Jesus said—and the term "worldhood" has been distinguished from "monkhood", the former being the status of merchants, princes, and others who deal with "worldly" things.
This view is clearly expressed by king Alfred the Great of England (d. 899) in his famous Preface to the Cura Pastoralis :
Therefore I command you to do as I believe you are willing to do, that you free yourself from worldly affairs (Old English: woruldðinga) as often as you can, so that wherever you can establish that wisdom that God gave you, you establish it. Consider what punishments befell us in this world when we neither loved wisdom at all ourselves, nor transmitted it to other men; we had the name alone that we were Christians, and very few had the practices.
Although Hebrew and Greek words meaning "world" are used in Scripture with the normal variety of senses, many examples of its use in this particular sense can be found in the teachings of Jesus according to the Gospel of John, e.g. 7:7, 8:23, 12:25, 14:17, 15:18-19, 17:6-25, 18:36. For contrast, a relatively newer concept is Catholic imagination.
Contemptus mundi is the name given to the recognition that the world, in all its vanity, is nothing more than a futile attempt to hide from God by stifling our desire for the good and the holy.This view has been criticized as a "pastoral of fear" by modern historian Jean Delumeau.
During the Second Vatican Council, there was a novel attempt to develop a positive theological view of the World, which is illustrated by the pastoral optimism of the constitutions Gaudium et spes , Lumen gentium , Unitatis redintegratio and Dignitatis humanae .
In Eastern Christian monasticism or asceticism, the world of mankind is driven by passions. Therefore, the passions of the World are simply called "the world". Each of these passions are a link to the world of mankind or order of human society. Each of these passions must be overcome in order for a person to receive salvation (theosis). The process of theosis is a personal relationship with God. This understanding is taught within the works of ascetics like Evagrius Ponticus, and the most seminal ascetic works read most widely by Eastern Christians, the Philokalia and the Ladder of Divine Ascent (the works of Evagrius and John Climacus are also contained within the Philokalia). At the highest level of world transcendence is hesychasm which culminates into the Vision of God.
Orbis Catholicus is a Latin phrase meaning Catholic world, per the expression Urbi et Orbi, and refers to that area of Christendom under papal supremacy. It is somewhat similar to the phrases secular world, Jewish world and Islamic world.
Dunya derives from the root word "dana" that means to bring near. In that sense, "dunya" is "what is brought near". [ page needed ]
Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma , or a way of life, widely practised in the Indian subcontinent. It includes a number of Indian religious traditions with a loose sense of interconnection, as different from Jainism and Buddhism, and (since medieval and modern times) Islam and Christianity. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world.
In philosophy, being means the existence of a thing. Anything that exists has being. Ontology is the branch of philosophy that studies being. Being is a concept encompassing objective and subjective features of reality and existence. Anything that partakes in being is also called a "being", though often this usage is limited to entities that have subjectivity. The notion of "being" has, inevitably, been elusive and controversial in the history of philosophy, beginning in Western philosophy with attempts among the pre-Socratics to deploy it intelligibly. The first effort to recognize and define the concept came from Parmenides, who famously said of it that "what is-is". Common words such as "is", "are", and "am" refer directly or indirectly to being.
Nihilism is the philosophical viewpoint that suggests the denial or lack of belief toward the reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that there is no inherent morality, and that accepted moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism may also take epistemological, ontological, or metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or reality does not actually exist.
Earthlings are inhabitants of the planet Earth. They are also known as Terrans or Gaians. As no extraterrestrial life has been discovered, all known forms of life in the Universe are earthlings.
The concept of the supernatural encompasses anything that is inexplicable by scientific understanding of the laws of nature but nevertheless argued by believers to exist. Examples include immaterial beings such as angels, gods and spirits, and claimed human abilities like magic, telekinesis and extrasensory perception.
Phenomenology is the philosophical study of the structures of experience and consciousness. As a philosophical movement it was founded in the early years of the 20th century by Edmund Husserl and was later expanded upon by a circle of his followers at the universities of Göttingen and Munich in Germany. It then spread to France, the United States, and elsewhere, often in contexts far removed from Husserl's early work.
In astronomy, the geocentric model is a superseded description of the Universe with Earth at the center. Under the geocentric model, the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets all orbited Earth. The geocentric model was the predominant description of the cosmos in many ancient civilizations, such as those of Aristotle and Ptolemy.
Musica universalis, also called Music of the spheres or Harmony of the Spheres, is an ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies—the Sun, Moon, and planets—as a form of musica. This "music" is not usually thought to be literally audible, but a harmonic, mathematical or religious concept. The idea continued to appeal to thinkers about music until the end of the Renaissance, influencing scholars of many kinds, including humanists. Further scientific exploration has determined specific proportions in some orbital motion, described as orbital resonance.
Astral body is a subtle body posited by many philosophers, intermediate between the intelligent soul and the mental body, composed of a subtle material. The concept ultimately derives from the philosophy of Plato: it is related to an astral plane, which consists of the planetary heavens of astrology. The term was adopted by nineteenth-century Theosophists and neo-Rosicrucians.
Dasein is a German word that means "being there" or "presence", and is often translated into English with the word "existence". It is a fundamental concept in the existential philosophy of Martin Heidegger, particularly in his magnum opusBeing and Time. Heidegger uses the expression Dasein to refer to the experience of being that is peculiar to human beings. Thus it is a form of being that is aware of and must confront such issues as personhood, mortality and the dilemma or paradox of living in relationship with other humans while being ultimately alone with oneself.
Gaianism is an earth-centered philosophical, spiritual, holistic, scientifically-rational, opinion that shares expressions with various religions such as earth religions and paganism while not identifying exclusively with any specific one. The term describes a philosophy and ethical worldview which, though not necessarily religious, implies a transpersonal devotion to earth as a superorganism. Practitioners of Gaianism are called Gaians.
Harmonices Mundi is a book by Johannes Kepler. In the work, written entirely in Latin, Kepler discusses harmony and congruence in geometrical forms and physical phenomena. The final section of the work relates his discovery of the so-called "third law of planetary motion".
In alchemy, Archeus, or archaeus, is a term used generally to refer to the lowest and most dense aspect of the astral plane which presides over the growth and continuation of all living beings. The term was used by medieval Paracelsus and those after him, such as Jan Baptist van Helmont.
The Origin of the Work of Art is an essay by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Heidegger drafted the text between 1935 and 1937, reworking it for publication in 1950 and again in 1960. Heidegger based his essay on a series of lectures he had previously delivered in Zurich and Frankfurt during the 1930s, first on the essence of the work of art and then on the question of the meaning of a "thing," marking the philosopher's first lectures on the notion of art.
Discernment of Spirits is a term used in Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Charismatic (Evangelist) Christian theology to indicate judging various spiritual agents for their moral influence. These agents are:
Martin Heidegger, the 20th-century German philosopher, produced a large body of work that intended a profound change of direction for philosophy. Such was the depth of change that he found it necessary to introduce a large number of neologisms, often connected to idiomatic words and phrases in the German language.
Ahimsā in Jainism is a fundamental principle forming the cornerstone of its ethics and doctrine. The term ahimsa means nonviolence, non-injury and absence of desire to harm any life forms. Vegetarianism and other nonviolent practices and rituals of Jains flow from the principle of ahimsa. The Jain concept of ahimsa is very different from the concept of nonviolence found in other philosophies. Violence is usually associated with causing harm to others. But according to the Jain philosophy, violence refers primarily to injuring one's own self – behaviour which inhibits the soul's own ability to attain moksha. At the same time it also means violence to others because it is this tendency to harm others that ultimately harms one's own soul. Furthermore, the Jains extend the concept of ahimsa not only to humans but to all animals, plants, micro-organisms and all beings having life or life potential. All life is sacred and everything has a right to live fearlessly to its maximum potential. Living beings need not fear those who have taken the vow of ahimsa. According to Jainism, protection of life, also known as abhayadānam, is the supreme charity that a person can make.
Contemptus mundi, the "contempt of the world" and worldly concerns, is a theme in the intellectual life of both Classical Antiquity and of Christianity, both in its mystical vein and its ambivalence towards secular life, that figures largely in the Western world's history of ideas. In inculcating a turn of mind that would lead to a state of serenity untrammeled by distracting material appetites and feverish emotional connections, which the Greek philosophers called ataraxia, it drew upon the assumptions of Stoicism and a neoplatonism that was distrustful of deceptive and spurious appearances. In the familiar rhetorical polarity in Hellenic philosophy between the active and the contemplative life, which Christians, who expressly rejected "the World, the Flesh and the Devil", might exemplify as the way of Martha and the way of Mary, contemptus mundi assumed that only the contemplative life was of lasting value and the world an empty shell, a vanity.
Inner-worldly asceticism was characterized by Max Weber in Economy and Society as the concentration of human behavior upon activities leading to salvation within the context of the everyday world.