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Elements of a worldview

According to Leo Apostel, a worldview is a descriptive model of the world. It should comprise these elements:

  • An explanation of the world
  • An answer to the question "Where are we heading?"
  • An answers to ethical questions: "What should we do?"
  • A theory of action: "How should we attain our goals?"
  • A theory of knowledge: "What is true and false?"
  • An account of its own "building blocks", its origins and construction.

We, the people with peculiar brains

  • We predict so fast that we think our movements are reactions.
  • We think we are born with many things we actually learn because our brain is a champion in rewiring itself.
  • We have so many kinds of minds that we are convinced one single natural cause explains them all.
  • We believe in our mental inventions to the extent that we think it is the natural world itself.
  • Our brain is so complex that it creates the metaphors we live by but mistakes them for knowledge.
  • My brain regulates at this very moment you read this, your brain in such a subtle way that you think you are independent of me at this moment. (2)
(2) Seven and a half lessons about the brain - Lisa Feldman Barrett - Picador - 2020

The big reversal towards relational thinking

"What we learn from by studying the history of the creative imagination is that the individual mind lives within a collective intelligence largely expressed through material objects."

SFI President David Krakauer

Relational quantum mechanics

The properties of people, teams or organisations are less a property of these people, groups, or organisations than how we experience them in their relationships between each other and with us. Relational quantum mechanics postulates that reality exists in the relationship between particles, not within the particles themselves. On the most fundamental level, the direct connection between elements in the universe provides us with the reality we live in.

A likewise principle provides us with a surprising result in our daily life. How we experience the world is not a characteristic of an entity we see, hear, feel, taste. Instead, it results from our relationship with entities in the world. The colour red, for example, is not a quality of the apple we see but the result of our ability to experience a particular light wavelength as red. Many mammals are colourblind and live in a different type of world. At the same time, they are as adapted to their world as we are adapted to ours. As humans, we live in the niche (part) of reality we can relate to. At the same time, our world and the world of colourblind mammals intertwine at a deeper relational level.


Relational thinking directs us towards constructivism and away from essentialism.

  • The trouble with essentialism is that growth is limited and ends with the concept of what we think is the subject's essence. This creates an enormous tension between the person and the call for responsibility and accountability we always hear in organisations. How can you be responsible for what lies behind your essence?
  • Relational thinking on the other hand states that growth is possible, and you can be responsible for what you do at the level that you create your reality conscientiously.

Dimensional thinking and doing

Photo by Griet Nijs Venetië 2015.jpg

What is important, valuable and relevant for you, your organisation or your enterprise?

As said in 'the big reversal' the core human dimensions,

only make sense in light of the other two.

Dimensional thinking and doing helps us to navigate reality by showing us how dimensions interact and create the context we live in.

  • The advantage of thinking in dimensions is that it does not pin us down to one fixed value. It highlights that quite a few exist before and after the value we are experiencing now. It allows us to improve.
  • The second advantage is that dimensions allow much more connections between points on the dimensions, creating a much richer world for us..
  • Thirdly. The former two create many more possibilities to find intersections between the positions that people take.

For more about our worldview, take a look in the category pages:

Category pages about Worldview