From the introduction of The ethical world conception of the Norse people:
World conception. “Conception,” in its psychological sense taken here, has been defined as “the last, finishing process by which consciousness takes possession of an object.”
“World conception” would then mean a “view” or “way of looking at” and “taking in” the world as a fact of experience. Upon inquiry into the history of culture, in primitive times as well as among the lowest savages of today, we shall find that each and every people has had its own peculiar view of the world in which it has lived, and thereby of the universe as a whole and of mankind at large, so far as it has been able at all to entertain such images from its varied experiences and endowments. These conceptions, as far as they may have been formed, have also received their peculiar coloring from the environments and the hereditary traits of the individuals and peoples entertaining them. Hence arises a variety of world-conceptions, each finding its appropriate expression through certain geniuses, who in various times and climes have been known as prophets and priests, poets and philosophers.
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