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Is Ideologie just a foreign word/scientific term for Weltanschauung? Where do you see nuances in meaning? Would you use Weltanschauung in an academic discussion? What is the correct context?

For example, would you say leftism is a ideology, atheism a weltanschauung/world view? What is a simple criterion to differ both? The number of people sharing this view? A Weltanschauung can become a Ideologie but not the other way round? A Ideologie needs a stronger & more exact accordance in content by many people? Here are some examples listed for Ideologie/World view, to test your criterions...

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

A literal translation of Weltanschauung is "world view." It is the prism ("spectacles" if you will) through which one views the world.

Ideologie refers to one's BELIEFS/ATTIUDES about the world. It stems from Weltanchauung, and is shaped by it, but is not the same. That is, Weltanshauung underpins Ideologie. One is cause, the other is effect.

For instance, a Weltanschauung might be, "the world is a dangerous place." The resulting Ideologie might be, "We need a strong national defense," or "we need more police."

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Personally, I'd use "Ideologie" for some technical meanings (similar to "Philosophie"), while "Weltanschauung" seems to be only related to people. Duden lists both as synonym, but has this as the meaning for the latter:

Gesamtheit von Anschauungen, die die Welt und die Stellung des Menschen in der Welt betreffen

Entirety of views regarding the world and the position of humankind in the world

The meaning of "Ideologie", on the other hand, is this:

a. an eine soziale Gruppe, eine Kultur o. Ä. gebundenes System von Weltanschauungen, Grundeinstellungen und Wertungen

b. politische Theorie, in der Ideen der Erreichung politischer und wirtschaftlicher Ziele dienen (besonders in totalitären Systemen)

c. weltfremde Theorie

So it has several wider meanings than "Weltanschauung", often referring to a group, culture or country.

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to me, "Ideologie" also has a bit of a negative touch. If you're talking about a fanatic attitude, you would always use "Ideologie". A "Weltanschauung" is rather neutral. – ladybug Jul 18 '11 at 16:09
@ladybug: I think you're right. The meanings b. and c. from the Duden entry underline that. – OregonGhost Jul 18 '11 at 20:02
Testing 1, 2, 3: "Braune Weltanschauung" - doesn't sound neutral any more. Neoliberalism is an ideology too, and not restricted to totalitarian systems. – user unknown Jul 19 '11 at 2:30
True. However, "Braune Weltanschauung" very much feels like an euphemism to me. – ladybug Jul 19 '11 at 15:57
@ladybug im still unsure whether one would call todays atheism/creationism a ideologie or Weltanschauung, as people like richard dawkins are organized and acting politically. Is atheism/creationims better called a "movement" nowadays? A atheist would likely say, creationsm is a ideology to use the denigrating connotation of ideology. Ideology implicates to me a political agenda...@user – Hauser Jul 19 '11 at 16:05

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