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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.77 n.1 Pretoria  2012




Worldview, the credit crisis and the 'unity of life'. From 'framework' to 'deep commitment'


Werklikheidsbeskouing die kredietkrisis en die 'eenheid van die lewe'. Van 'raamwerk' tot 'diep verbintenis'



Govert J. Buijs

Faculty of Philosophy, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands





The term 'worldview' harbours different dimensions that are not always clearly distinguished. A worldview can be considered to be a personal matter, but it may also be a more collective phenomenon, as it can manifest itself for example within a certain sphere of life (e.g. politics or economics) as a full-blown ideology or a more implicit 'embedded worldview'. A second distinction can be made between the dimension of a deep, existential commitment and that of an encompassing mental framework, between spiritual inspiration and a more or less intellectually coherent system. There may be tensions between these various dimensions. Having a worldview as a person may imply being in conflict with other worldviews that are embodied in certain social fields. How can people deal with these conflicts? One can easily be seduced to avoid the conflicts and to shift gears between them. With the credit crisis and economics used as an illustration, this article explores some of the techniques that people - consciously, semi-consciously or unconsciously - may employ to navigate the differences between various social domains and their inherent worldviews. In order to support people to regain some unity, the notion of worldview may still be helpful, but interpreted primarily as 'deep commitment'.


Die begrip 'werklikheidsbeskouing' het minstens twee dimensies wat nie altyd duidelik onderskei word nie. Die begrip kan na iets individueel verwys, maar ook na 'n meer kollektiewe fenomeen, byvoorbeeld wanneer daar binne 'n bepaalde sosiale domein (soos die politiek of die ekonomie) sprake is van 'n rigtinggewende ideologie of 'n meer implisiete verwysingsraamwerk. Tweedens kan die begrip verwys na sowel diepe eksistensiële keuses as na 'n omvattende, sistematiese geheel van oortuigings, dus na 'n spirituele inspirasie sowel as 'n sisteem wat intellektueel min of meer koherent is. Tussen hierdie verskillende dimensies kan spanninge voorkom. Die lewensbeskouing waaroor 'n individu beskik kan in konflik wees met ander lewensbeskouings wat in bepaalde sosiale domeine beliggaam is. Hoe kan persone met hierdie konflikte omgaan? 'n Mens kan maklik verlei word om die konflikte te vermy en om bloot hiertussen oor te skakel of 'ratte te verwissel'. Hierdie artikel maak van die kredietkrisis en die rol van ekonomiese wetenskappe gebruik om te illustreer watter 'tegnieke' persone kan aanwend - bewustelik, half-bewustelik of onbewustelik - om te navigeer tussen hulle inherente werklikheidsvisies en die verskeie implisiete werklikheidsbeskouings in die verskillende sosiale domeine. Die begrip 'werklikheidsbeskouing' kan waardevol wees om 'n mate van eenheid te herwin, maar dan primêr geïnterpreteer as die manifestasie van 'n eksistensiële keuse en diep verbintenis.



Full text available only in PDF format.



Competing interests

The author declares that he has no financial or personal relationships which may have in inappropriately influenced him in writing this article.



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Govert Buijs
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Received: 20 Mar. 2012
Accepted: 24 July 2012
Published: 06 Dec. 2012

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