Worldview – vision


·        A vision of life ... shared among people (living & dead)

·        A framework or set of fundamental beliefs through which we view the world, our purpose, & future in it.

·        Part of an intellectual tradition (how a group thinks and passes those intellectual frames of reference to future generations).


Ethics – theories, values (justify action)


·        What “ought to be” and what “should be”

·        Explains why we choose to act a certain way

·        Gives a reason for taking a particular position about an issue.

·        Broader category than morality. 


Morality – norms


·        What you should do, how you act in community

·        General rules of conduct and evaluation standard for behavior.

·        What communities, professions & persons expect of us and we of them

·        Gives us standards & guidelines about right/wrong and the consequences of violating them.

·        Gives us traits of an individual who is good or bad.


A worldview requires a frame of reference.  A starting place by which we interpret facts. 


A.               Worldview vs. Paradigm


1.                  Kuhn’s Paradigm -  red 6 spades/black 4 of hearts


2.                  Paradigm “ a constellation of concepts, values, perceptions, and practices shared by a community which forms a particular vision of reality that is the basis of the way a community organizes itself.” Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions


3.                  Paradigm – experiential screens through which reality is interpreted.  Worldview – vision of reality, standard.  (Based on your “screens” [paradigms], you expect to see certain things).   To see something different requires a paradigm shift (a change of your screen or frame of reference). 

What is the difference between a worldview and a paradigm?


Note: A quick way to explain the difference between the two is to emphasize that a worldview is based on values and belief, and has more to do with how we ought to live, whereas a paradigm has more to do with perception and the way we acquire knowledge and what we count as knowledge. Essentially, a paradigm is a smaller version of a worldview. The assumptions that guide the way we make decisions about knowledge within our paradigms are derived from our worldview. A worldview is more comprehensive—everything can be analyzed via a worldview. A paradigm is more specific to classes of knowledge and situations.[1]




1.     What is prime reality—the really real?

Ultimate truth, indivisible reality, basic truth

2.     What is the nature of external reality, that is, the world around us?

Creation, origin of nature, where did it come from?

3.     What is a human being?

How are we made? Essence (e.g. body, soul, spirit)

4.     What happens to a person at death?

e.g. heaven, reincarnation, nothing

5.     Why is it possible to know anything at all?

Basis of knowledge, frame of reference, epistemological world view

6.     How do we know what is right and wrong?


7.     What is the meaning of human history?

Teleological, cyclical, constructed, no purpose


[1] Based on conversation with Dr. Bill Yarchin, Department of Religion and Philosophy, Azusa Pacific University.