What Is Nature?

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,

- Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, IV, 178–179

Podcast of the Day

How do our ideas about the nature of thought and the nature of the human mind affect our view of the environment and of the other beings with whom we share it? This week we ponder on these issues in a program about Val Plumwood, the feminist and environmentalist philosopher who died suddenly a couple of weeks ago.

Listen to The Philosopher's Zone episode on Philosophy and the Natural World

Video of the Day

Short Article of the Day

How does nature benefit our health? Many of us intuitively know that we simply feel better after ‘stepping out for some fresh air.’ Now over 30 years of research has begun to reveal exactly what health benefits we get from nature. Here are five reasons why we need to make space and time for nature in our lives.

Our physical health improves when we spend time in nature.

Spending just ten minutes in a natural environment is enough to lower your blood pressure. Generally speaking, your stress levels and mental fatigue drop when you visit green spaces, and they also provide a great place for exercise. These effects can have an impressive and lasting impact on your physical health...

Continue reading Danielle Shanahan's article: Five ways nature can improve your health

Further Reading

Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, or material world or universe. "Nature" can refer to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The study of nature is a large part of science. Although humans are part of nature, human activity is often understood as a separate category from other natural phenomena.

The word nature is derived from the Latin word natura, or "essential qualities, innate disposition", and in ancient times, literally meant "birth". Natura is a Latin translation of the Greek word physis (φύσις), which originally related to the intrinsic characteristics that plants, animals, and other features of the world develop of their own accord. The concept of nature as a whole, the physical universe, is one of several expansions of the original notion; it began with certain core applications of the word φύσις by pre-Socratic philosophers, and has steadily gained currency ever since. This usage continued during the advent of modern scientific method in the last several centuries.

Continue reading the Wikipedia article on Nature

Related Topics

 The Human Body | Laws of Nature | MetaphysicsParticle PhysicsQuantum Mechanics | Science

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