How do you define nature

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Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 02:30 pm
In many philosophical doctrines nature plays a key role. How do you define nature? I am constantly wondering if man is from nature or is man nature/a part of nature itself. Today I made an observation that maybe nature is innate life. This would really help me in my studies so what do you guys think? Thanx,jessica:brickwall::detective:
 
Khethil
 
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 03:07 pm
@zolasdisciple,
zolasdisciple wrote:
In many philosophical doctrines nature plays a key role. How do you define nature? I am constantly wondering if man is from nature or is man nature/a part of nature itself. Today I made an observation that maybe nature is innate life. This would really help me in my studies so what do you guys think? Thanx,jessica:brickwall::detective:


Well... I believe that humans are just as much a part of nature as any other natural phenomena, no more and no less.

As far as "what is nature", I'd go back to a definition and start from there; but I'm guessing a run to the dictionary isn't what you were looking for.

More clarification or elaboration pleasie?
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 03:11 pm
@Khethil,
The art by which humanity does not thrive in.
 
zolasdisciple
 
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 03:11 pm
@Khethil,
i mean what is nature.its the core of so much. i wanna now what it consist of who it consist of and how it affects aesthetics.:detective::listening:
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 04:22 pm
@zolasdisciple,
zolasdisciple wrote:
In many philosophical doctrines nature plays a key role. How do you define nature? I am constantly wondering if man is from nature or is man nature/a part of nature itself. Today I made an observation that maybe nature is innate life. This would really help me in my studies so what do you guys think? Thanx,jessica:brickwall::detective:



Zolasdisciple,Smile

Could not nature be look at as the pristine order, the originally arrangement of elements, before the introduction of the industry of man? In the cosmos we contemplate the order left by chaos, does not industry serve the purpose of chaos to nature, in her rhythms and balances, certainly the state of the environment today might indicate that. Nature too might be considered the purest expression of indifference, so much so that life finds ways in cooperative efforts like packs, groups, tribes, societies and civilizations to defend ourselves against the cold indifference of nature, and now, now we must learn to nuture her, for she is that eternal refreshment, she, after fighting her so long, we realized her to be, our very lives. Edit: Just an added thought, which might help in pinning down a defination of nature, there is no such thing as a closed system, so that of necessity would indicate that it is all a continuum, very system which is not closed, and there are no closed systems, is part of that continuum. My two cents!!
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 04:36 pm
@zolasdisciple,
A general view of the universe, which we may casually define as "everything there is" for our purposes, is that it may be divided into Nature and Artifice. While my own opinion is that this division is not at all clear and that the two are more dependent on each other than one would suspect, and that one should recall that even a simple and preliminary concept of Nature has had many subtle meanings throughout the history of human thought, Nature can be seen as the world in its "original" or "prior" state before the intervention of man and human meaning. Assume one could view the world [bearing in mind that Nature is a human definition and has human meaning in the first place] by "bracketing" out not only the physical creations of men, but all terms implying a human meaning ("a farmer's field" compared to "a bit of ground") and what is left is the Natural world of becoming. Depending on one's view of natural laws, the natural world would be one of regularity and order or not, but it would contain at least what we would normally call physical objects.

This is a very general definition, and not without inexhaustible qualifications and caveats. When studying philosophy, figuring out these differences becomes very important, and there is scarce agreement amongst the great thinkers about even so "simple" a term as Nature.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 05:15 am
@jgweed,
Good progression.

Although it just occurred to me; while I'd accept the working definition in progress, it's interesting to note that since humans are a part of nature, it's not unreasonable to conclude that what they do, too, is part of it.

No, I don't believe that for a minute, it's counter-intuitive to my personal definition; which, in terms of aesthetics might be plainly put as that state in which all elements have arranged themselves prior to man's inventive 'corruption', so to speak.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 07:24 am
@zolasdisciple,
One perpetual problem hinges around the place of Man in Nature. In one sense, his technological apparatus (walls, bridges,roads) is a part of nature (seen as a wealth of physical objects) even though it is felt to "intrude" upon it. In another sense, it seems that at least the animal part of man is itself a part of nature just as the hippopotamus, squirrel, bluejay, and spider; the question then becomes whether man is completely a part of nature, or whether there is "something left over."

This thread certainly reflects the philosophical process. We all "know what nature means" and the everyday definition seems at first adequate; but as we begin our thinking about Nature, problems unfold and become important, and we are dissatisfied with our original, ready-made definition.
 
boagie
 
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 09:49 am
@jgweed,
I everyone!!Smile

This is certainly an interesting process. It might be helpful to consider the constructions of man, to be simply the biological extensions of his being. This in itself must be considered natural. When it crosses the line into the unnatural is when nature is apparently subued, her inner processes not allowed their function. When man becomes unnatural then, it is when he crosses some critical point in disruptinng nature. Where he becomes the dominiant presence, the physical world in some profound sense becomes the second banana. Althrough this has nothing but unfortunate consequences for life on earth, nature herself will recover from this violation, minus the influnence of humanity. Nature may change entirely, but whatever constitution nature becomes, it will still be, nature, for what is nature but a very large complex condition.
 
MJA
 
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 10:05 am
@zolasdisciple,
Nature Is

=
MJA
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 12:22 pm
@boagie,
boagie;29352 wrote:
Nature may change entirely, but whatever constitution nature becomes, it will still be, nature, for what is nature but a very large complex condition.


. . . which, of course, is much broader than the immediate environment in which we live. We could pave the Earth with asphalt, coat it in concrete, wrap it in steel . . . and nature, as a process, would persist. Our own galaxy, and galaxies beyond ours, would continue to do their thing regardless of our puny activities here on Earth.

Yet, we are not apart from nature. We are nature, but even in our absence, nature would just keep on ticking along. In an infinitely large universe with no beginning and no end, how big do we think we are?

This doesn't need to be a discouraging thought. On the contrary, I find it liberating.
 
Rose phil
 
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 12:57 pm
@zolasdisciple,
Nature for me is everything natural - good and bad. Was it Alan Watts who compared the world to an apple tree? He said the apple tree 'apples' and the world 'peoples'.

I don't know about that. I just know that I enjoy my walk in the woods better if I don't think about giving everything a label.
 
boagie
 
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 01:05 pm
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan,Smile

Yes I do not think that that thought is something to aviod, it is a pathway to the sublime, for the sublime, unlike beauty most of the time, shatters our concepts and shakes our self importance to the ground, sublime, how could one survive it, yet here we are, looking out from that pale blue dot. Just remembering Carl Sagn a bit here, with the pale blue dot.
 
boagie
 
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 01:14 pm
@Rose phil,
Hi Rose,Smile

When I walk in the woods, for the most part it is not difficult to not label, most of the creatures I incounter, crawly things ect, I know nothing about, even if there was a label, a label does not tell you much. Again, a rose by any other name. Next time out, try to appreciate all the different consciousness interacting, all struggling in their individual ways to survive, all playing off one another, is both beautiful and terriable at the same time.
 
Rose phil
 
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 01:47 pm
@boagie,
Thank you. I understand. We have a lovely big wooded area here with a lake in the middle. But I doubt very much if it has the kind of wild life you enjoy in Canada. Smile
 
boagie
 
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 02:05 pm
@Rose phil,
Hi Rose,Smile

Nature is nature I suppose, at anyrate most of my time is spent in the city, it is a treat for me to get out into the country. Your situtation sounds ideal, woods and a lake in the middle, I am jealous!! Just a thought, have you ever noticed that a large body of water has a calming effect upon you? It just dawned upon me, I am talking to someone who lives on an island-----------lol!!!:rolleyes:
 
Rose phil
 
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 02:26 pm
@zolasdisciple,
It is nice but unfortunately I can't walk around there alone, it's not as safe and relaxing as it sounds. I often go with my daughter when she is walking her dog. And you're right about the calming affect of water. When younger I used to go and sit by the canal lock with a book on nice days.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 02:52 pm
@Rose phil,
... and that's one of the reasons my wife and I sold our house, quit our jobs and moved 1500 miles away into the sticks. I can look out my back door and see nothing that man's corrupted.

We take walks way out into the country; down trails to the river's edge (Missouri River) amass twisted vines, deer running about, ad-hoc creeks here and there... where trees die, fall and there lay still. There are places one can sit on a hill and just watch the wind blow; no horns, no thumpa-thumpa cars, no gun shots, no jets or planes, no jesus freaks knocking at the door and no barrage of horn-honks in the morning.

Yea, we've sacrificed a lot to get here (wanna see my budget?!) but I'll trade that piece-of-crap, 6-figure income job any day for what I have now - and I'd recommend it to everyone.
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 06:36 pm
@Khethil,
I don't think that any discussion of nature and man's place in it can be complete without including the lyrics from The Eagles song, "The Last Resort"

-------------
She came from Providence,
the one in Rhode Island
Where the old world shadows hang
heavy in the air
She packed her hopes and dreams
like a refugee
Just as her father came across the sea

She heard about a place people were smilin'
They spoke about the red man's way,
and how they loved the land
And they came from everywhere
to the Great Divide
Seeking a place to stand
or a place to hide

Down in the crowded bars,
out for a good time,
Can't wait to tell you all,
what it's like up there
And they called it paradise
I don't know why
Somebody laid the mountains low
while the town got high

Then the chilly winds blew down
Across the desert
through the canyons of the coast, to
the Malibu
Where the pretty people play,
hungry for power
to light their neon way
and give them things to do

Some rich men came and raped the land,
Nobody caught 'em
Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and Jesus,
people bought 'em
And they called it paradise
The place to be
They watched the hazy sun, sinking in the sea

You can leave it all behind
and sail to Lahaina
just like the missionaries did, so many years ago
They even brought a neon sign: "Jesus is coming"
Brought the white man's burden down
Brought the white man's reign

Who will provide the grand design?
What is yours and what is mine?
'Cause there is no more new frontier
We have got to make it here

We satisfy our endless needs and
justify our bloody deeds,
in the name of destiny and the name
of God

And you can see them there,
On Sunday morning
They stand up and sing about
what it's like up there
They call it paradise
I don't know why
You call someplace paradise,
kiss it goodbye

--------

It's the last two lines that always ring the most true for me.
 
BrightNoon
 
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 09:32 pm
@MJA,
Nature = The World = All (isn't English wonderful with its many synonyms?)

To claim that civilization is not natural because it has been made by man is like saying that glucose is not natural because it is made by bacteria, or that water in not natural because it is formed by a reaction between Oxygen and Hydrogen, etc.
 
 

 
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