A manifesto, from what I've read, would be the sum of one's beliefs that one presents to the public prior to an election.

However, these principles may or may not be slightly, or significantly construed from one's actual beliefs. Is there a word which describes the sum of all beliefs, with which one cannot deny the existence of?

  • It seems to me that the inconceivably complex universe of concepts that must be encompassed by what you describe defies any reasonable effort to reduce it to a word, or even a brief phrase.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 4, 2016 at 19:23

6 Answers 6


Although it seems pedantic why not philosophy ?

philosophy n, pl -phies 1. (Philosophy) the academic discipline concerned with making explicit the nature and significance of ordinary and scientific beliefs and investigating the intelligibility of concepts by means of rational argument concerning their presuppositions, implications, and interrelationships; in particular, the rational investigation of the nature and structure of reality (metaphysics), the resources and limits of knowledge (epistemology), the principles and import of moral judgment (ethics), and the relationship between language and reality (semantics) 2. (Philosophy) the particular doctrines relating to these issues of some specific individual or school: the philosophy of Descartes. 3. (Philosophy) the critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a discipline: the philosophy of law. 4. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) archaic or literary the investigation of natural phenomena, esp alchemy, astrology, and astronomy 5. any system of belief, values, or tenets 6. a personal outlook or viewpoint 7. serenity of temper



  1. A statement of the beliefs or aims which guide someone's actions: "he announced his credo in his first editorial"

    1.1. A creed of the Christian Church in Latin.

    1.2. noun: Credo; plural noun: Credos. A musical setting of the Nicene Creed, typically as part of a mass: "the Credo of Bach's B minor Mass"

Middle English: Latin, ‘I believe’. Compare with creed.


  • Thanks, though what if one is not at all religious? :) Mar 4, 2016 at 19:21
  • 1
    Like me? :-) I don't think the word is necessarily religious. I think all such words woul come from religions , which was the fount of all beliefs previously.
    – R.S.
    Mar 4, 2016 at 19:23
  • Search google books for the phrase "his credo was" . That should convince the nonbeliever:-) [ "his credo was" ] (google.co.in/…)
    – R.S.
    Mar 4, 2016 at 19:48
  • 1
    @user108262 You can also talk of one's personal philosophy, or one's ethics, mores, beliefs, morals, etc.
    – Dan Bron
    Mar 4, 2016 at 19:49

Worldview. This is what I hear most commonly in recent years to describe the set of beliefs that explain what one sees (or doesn't see, as the case may be).



values a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life. "they internalize their parents' rules and values" synonyms: principles, ethics, moral code, morals, standards, code of behavior "society's values are passed on to us as children"

Cognitive biases Cognitive biases are tendencies to think in certain ways that can lead to systematic deviations from a standard of rationality or good judgment, and are often studied in psychology and behavioral economics. Although the reality of these biases is confirmed by replicable research, there are often controversies about how to classify these biases or how to explain them.1 Some are effects of information-processing rules (i.e., mental shortcuts), called heuristics, that the brain uses to produce decisions or judgments. Such effects are called cognitive biases. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

Culture Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving. Culture is the systems of knowledge shared by a relatively large group of people. Culture is communication, communication is culture.


Cosmology is a decent word. A cosmology (lit. explanation of the workings of the cosmos) can incorporate science, religion, social theories, anything that builds on the worldview of an individual, or a group of people.

Eg. The theory of Evolution has been generally accepted into modern cosmology.

  • Cosmology is indeed a decent word, but it usually means the explanation for the origin of the universe. In modern usage, it's the scientific study of those origins. Generally, the field encompasses neither biological explanations for the diversity of our biosphere (i.e, the theory of evolution) nor a set of beliefs put before the electorate. Do you have some examples to illustrate your usage?
    – deadrat
    Mar 4, 2016 at 21:31
  • This is entirely wrong. Without a dictionary reference supporting this interpretation, it should be closed.
    – jimm101
    Mar 6, 2016 at 3:52

In politics it would be the platform; for the political activist, it would be the agenda.

  • Welcome to English Language & Usage. This answer was flagged as low-quality because of its length and content. Can you try to include reference or link (that can support your answer) and its essential part? Please take the tour and visit our help center for additional guidance.
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    Mar 5, 2016 at 4:52

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