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The World is a name for the planet Earth seen from a human point of view, as a place inhabited by human beings. It is often used to mean the sum of human experience and history, or the 'human condition' in general. There are approximately 7.7 billion people living on the Earth. Especially in a metaphysical context, it can also refer to everything that makes up reality, the universe: see the external world and world (philosophy).

"The idea that 'Black'='US-Black' has the same excruciatingly gormless sort of arrogance found in other instances of word magic in post war American English. I am referring here to words like 'world', as in 'The World Trade Center', 'Miss World' or 'The World Bank' — none of these three 'worlds' include the socialist 35% of the actual world's population — or 'Trans World Airways' who fly neither to Irkutsk nor Maputo." --"Open Letter about 'Black Music', 'Afro-American Music' and 'European Music'" (1989) by Philip Tagg[1]

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The World is the Earth and all life on it, including human civilization. In a philosophical context, the "world" is the whole of the physical Universe, or an ontological world (the "world" of an individual). In a theological context, the world is the material or the profane sphere, as opposed to the celestial, spiritual, transcendent or sacred spheres. "End of the world" scenarios refer to the end of human history, often in religious contexts.

The history of the World is commonly understood as the history of humanity spanning the major geopolitical developments of about five millennia, from the first civilizations to the present. In terms such as world religion, world language, world government, and world war, the term world suggests an international or intercontinental scope without necessarily implying participation of every part of the world.

The world population is the sum of all human populations at any time; similarly, the world economy is the sum of the economies of all societies or countries, especially in the context of globalization. Terms such as "world championship", "gross world product", and "world flags" imply the sum or combination of all sovereign states.


'World' distinguishes the entire planet or population from any particular country or region: world affairs are those which pertain not just to one place but to the whole world, and world history is a field of history which examines events from a global (rather than a national or a regional) perspective. Earth, on the other hand, refers to the planet as a physical entity, and distinguishes it from other planets and physical objects.

'World' can also be used attributively, as an adjective, to mean 'global', 'relating to the whole world', forming usages such as World community. See World (adjective).

By extension, a 'world' may refer to any planet or heavenly body, especially when it is thought of as inhabited.

'World', when qualified, can also refer to a particular domain of human experience.


See also

Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "World" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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