zondag 21 juli 2013
On the inevitability of having a worldview
Charles Taylor argues in his book Sources of the Self that people shape their lives by adopting frameworks for attributing meaning to their experiences. These frameworks of meaning inform the way we order our lives and understand ourselves. As such these frameworks reach beyond the truths arrived at by science. For they govern the entire way we assign significance to anything what happens to us, no matter what, in all the domains and contexts of our lives. Now, by determining our orientation towards the world they constitute our own personal identity. Therefore these identity forming frameworks are inescapable, because without them we would not even be able to form an identity, which is simply crucial for our human lives. Our challenge in life is thus to find the frameworks that best suit us, or, as Taylor calls it, to find our personal best account for guiding all our commitments and activities in the world. To be able to guide us through life, a best account has to determine what we consider as being part of reality. It therefore defines what we ultimately acknowledge as the real furniture of the world we live in. So, inevitably, each one of us embraces a worldview, that is to say, some broad picture of the ultimate nature of reality. We thus have to live our lives from the perspective of a worldview. We must choose. There is no escape.