World is a common name for the whole of human civilization, specifically human experience, history, or the human condition in general, worldwide, i.e. anywhere on Earth.
In a philosophical context it may refer to:
- the whole of the physical Universe, or
- an ontological world (see world disclosure).
In a theological context, world usually refers to the material or the profane sphere, as opposed to the celestial, spiritual, transcendent or sacred. The "end of the world" refers to scenarios of the final end of human history, often in religious contexts.
World history is commonly understood as spanning the major geopolitical developments of about five millennia, from the first civilizations to the present.
World population is the sum of all human populations at any time; similarly, world economy is the sum of the economies of all societies (all countries), especially in the context of globalization. Terms like world championship, gross world product, world flags etc. also imply the sum or combination of all current-day sovereign states.
In terms such as world religion, world language, and world war, world suggests international or intercontinental scope without necessarily implying participation of the entire world.
In terms such as world map and world climate, world is used in the sense detached from human culture or civilization, referring to the planet Earth physically.
Famous quotes containing the word world:
“Magic is the envelopment and coercion of the objective world by the ego; it is a dynamic subjectivism. Religion is the coercion of the ego by gods and spirits who are objectively conceived beings in control of nature and man.”
—Richard Chase (b. 1914)
“However, no two people see the external world in exactly the same way. To every separate person a thing is what he thinks it isin other words, not a thing, but a think.”
—Penelope Fitzgerald (b. 1916)
“A certain kind of rich man afflicted with the symptoms of moral dandyism sooner or later comes to the conclusion that it isnt enough merely to make money. He feels obliged to hold views, to espouse causes and elect Presidents, to explain to a trembling world how and why the world went wrong. The spectacle is nearly always comic.”
—Lewis H. Lapham (b. 1935)