Albert Wolters geht dem Begriff „Weltanschauung“ nach. Im 19. Jahrhundert wurde zwischen „Weltanschauung“ und „Philosophie“ unterschieden:
A cardinal distinction to be made in this connection is that between “worldview” and “philosophy.” This is a distinction of relatively recent date, having first been made in nineteenthcentury German philosophy. It is found, for example, in the writings of Wilhelm Dilthey and Heinrich Rickert, although they are by no means the first to adopt it. They contrast Weltanschauung, as a pre-scientific view of the world, with Philosophie, as its scientific counterpart. The connotations of “pre-scientific,” in this context, are: subjective, haphazard and contradictory, arising out of emotional and religious prejudices. “Scientific,” by contrast, implies a mode of cognition that is objective, methodical and coherent, founded on neutral and rational principles.
Diese begriffliche Unterscheidung mit der jeweiligen Bedeutung muss in Frage gestellt werden.
It is , however, an unwarranted prejudice to regard pre- theoretical common sense as more prone to error and uncertainty than theoretical science, and therefore to depreciate the cognitive claims of worldview as compared to those of philosophy. As a matter of fact, a good case can be made for the epistemological priority of worldview over philosophy. That is to say, philosophy (like all scientific knowing) is necessarily based on pre-scientific intuitions and assumptions that are given with the worldview of the philosopher concerned. Worldview necessarily plays a decisive role in philosophy, and the attempt to emancipate philosophy from worldview is doomed to failure.
Deshalb sollten die „weltanschaulichen Karten“ auf den Tisch gelegt werden:
Rather than attempting the impossible task of doing philosophy in a worldview vacuum, philosophers should put their worldview cards on the table and enter the philosophical debate with none of those cards up their sleeve.