The origin of…World

“I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.” Marilyn Monroe

Post 18 World

Everybody sees the world differently and in philosophy a great deal has been written about the world, worldviews and what is reality.

On of them is the Greek philosopher Parmenides (5th century BC), who has had a great influence on Western philosophy. In “On Nature” he describes two views of reality. One is the truth and the other is appearance. “On Nature” is divided in to three sections, Prologue, The Way of Truth and The Way of Opinion.
The Way of Truth, describes there are two ways of inquiry, that what is (being) and that what not is (non-being). The existing cosmic space is entirely filled with being. Being is an eternal, not generated, motionless substance, not becoming but always the same, homogeneous and not divided. Outside of being and beyond it there is nothing.  Hypothetical entities external to being cannot exist and should not even be thought of, because, being physically and conceptually outside the sphere of being, that is, of what exists, cannot exist.
Being does not change or move, it always remains the same. Is being was subject to change or transformation or movement, it would gradually become non-being. If something becomes something else, if being changes, it must destroy what it was and what is not must become.  Thus, being could not have come into being, because nothing comes from nothing, and therefore existence is eternal. That which truly is, has always been, and was never becoming; that which is becoming was never nothing, but will never actually be.
The Way of Opinion, describes how truth appears to men. Parmenides criticizes humans for being misled by their senses. Humans mistakenly see the cosmos not as one being, but as many beings. The unreflective person, who relies on his senses, affirms that something is and is not, and that something is not the same as before and therefore can change. This is where humans are wrong, since there is only one single being, which is eternal and motionless.
One cannot perceive of what is not, from which it follows nothing cannot be: it is impossible to hold that something is not or that nothing is. Only what can be thought can be.

Plato (around 427 BC-around 347 BC) writes in his “Theory of Forms” that the material world as we see it is not the real world but only an image of the real world. All the objects we perceive are images or experiences in our mind and are subjective. The material world, perceived through our senses is changing, but the world of forms, the more real world, perceived through our mind, is permanent. The latter is an intelligible world that stands above the visible world and gives it being. For example, the beautiful things we can see are beautiful only because we have a general concept of beauty, or Form of Beauty. This Form of Beauty is itself invisible, eternal, and unchanging.

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921) by Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) is an example of logical analysis.  He speaks of states of affairs, which are simple, mutually independent facts that make up reality, and which are a combination of objects. Objects are in particular relation with each other and are the absolute base of logical analysis. Propositions (the set of possible worlds/states of affairs in which it is true) can accurately picture or represent the world and thoughts can represent propositions. According to Wittgenstein some things can be said and some things only be shown. Anything that does not concern facts about the world cannot be said, but can only be shown, such as the logical structure of language. A proposition can say something, like “John is small,” but it cannot say this function of itself; it can only show that it says that John is small.

More reading:

1. the earth and all the people and things on it
2. a part of the world and the people and things that exist there
3. human society (source: Merriam Webster).

The English world comes from Old English woruld/worold, world, human existence, way of life, the human race, mankind, eternity, from Proto-Germanic *weraldiz, lifetime, age of man, world, from wer (man) +‎ eld (age).
Dutch wereld comes from Middle Dutch werelt/warelt, world, human existence, way of life, the human race, mankind, eternity, from Old Dutch werolt, era, mankind, world, life, from Proto-Germanic *weraldiz, lifetime, age of man, world, from wer (man) +‎ eld (age).
Spanish mundo and Italian mondo derive from Latin mundus, which at first meant clean but later on universe, world, mankind. Mundus is a loan translation from Greek kosmos, orderly arrangement.

World in other languages:
Dutch: wereld
Spanish: el mundo
Italian: il mondo


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