Natural philosophy

Natural philosophy

Overview
Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature (from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 philosophia naturalis), is a term applied to the study of nature
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

 and the physical universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 that was dominant before the development of modern science. It is considered to be the precursor of natural science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

s such as physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

.

Forms of science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 historically developed out of philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 or more specifically natural philosophy. At older universities
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

, long-established Chairs of Natural Philosophy are nowadays occupied mainly by physics professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

s.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Natural philosophy'
Start a new discussion about 'Natural philosophy'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature (from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 philosophia naturalis), is a term applied to the study of nature
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

 and the physical universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 that was dominant before the development of modern science. It is considered to be the precursor of natural science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

s such as physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

.

Forms of science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 historically developed out of philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 or more specifically natural philosophy. At older universities
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

, long-established Chairs of Natural Philosophy are nowadays occupied mainly by physics professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

s. Modern notions of science and scientists date only to the 19th century (the Oxford English Dictionary dates the origin of the word "scientist" to 1834). Before then, the word "science" simply meant knowledge and the label of scientist did not exist. Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

's 1687 scientific treatise is known as The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica
Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Latin for "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy", often referred to as simply the Principia, is a work in three books by Sir Isaac Newton, first published 5 July 1687. Newton also published two further editions, in 1713 and 1726...

.

Origin and evolution of the term


The term natural philosophy preceded our current natural science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

(from the Latin, scientia, meaning "knowledge") when the subject of that knowledge or study was "the workings of nature". Natural philosophy pertains to the work of analysis and synthesis of common experience and argumentation to explain or describe nature—while, in the 16th century and earlier, science was used exclusively as a synonym for knowledge or study. The term science, as in natural science, gained its modern meaning when acquiring knowledge through experiment
Experiment
An experiment is a methodical procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, falsifying, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis. Experiments vary greatly in their goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results...

s (special experiences) under the scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 became its own specialized branch of study apart from natural philosophy. In the Sixteenth Century, Jacopo Zabarella
Jacopo Zabarella
Giacomo Zabarella was an Italian Aristotelian philosopher and logician. He was accused of atheism for the notable chapter "De inventione æterni motoris" in his De rebus naturalibus libri XXX....

 was the first person appointed as a professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Padua
University of Padua
The University of Padua is a premier Italian university located in the city of Padua, Italy. The University of Padua was founded in 1222 as a school of law and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern Europe. It is among the earliest universities of the world and the second...

.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, natural philosophy referred to what is now physical science
Physical science
Physical science is an encompassing term for the branches of natural science and science that study non-living systems, in contrast to the life sciences...

. From the mid-19th century, when it became increasingly unusual for scientists to contribute to both physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 and chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

, it just meant physics, and is still used in that sense in degree titles at the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

. Natural philosophy was distinguished from the other pre-cursor of modern science, natural history
Natural history
Natural history is the scientific research of plants or animals, leaning more towards observational rather than experimental methods of study, and encompasses more research published in magazines than in academic journals. Grouped among the natural sciences, natural history is the systematic study...

, in that the former involved reasoning and explanations about nature (and after Galileo, quantitative
Quantitative property
A quantitative property is one that exists in a range of magnitudes, and can therefore be measured with a number. Measurements of any particular quantitative property are expressed as a specific quantity, referred to as a unit, multiplied by a number. Examples of physical quantities are distance,...

 reasoning), whereas the latter was essentially qualitative and descriptive.

Scope of natural philosophy


In Plato's
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 earliest known dialogue, Charmides
Charmides (dialogue)
The Charmides is a dialogue of Plato, in which Socrates engages a handsome and popular boy in a conversation about the meaning of sophrosyne, a Greek word usually translated into English as "temperance", "self-control", or "restraint"...

distinguishes between science or bodies of knowledge that produce a physical result, and those that do not. Natural philosophy has been categorized as a theoretical rather than a practical branch of philosophy (like ethics). Sciences that guide arts and draw on the philosophical knowledge of nature may produce practical results, but these subsidiary sciences (e.g., architecture or medicine) go beyond natural philosophy.

The study of natural philosophy seeks to explore the cosmos by any means necessary to understand the universe. Some ideas presupposes that change
Change
Change may refer to:- The process of becoming different:* Social change* Biological metamorphosis* Change , the mathematical study of change* Percentage change, in statistics* Fold change, in statistics...

 is a reality. Although this may seem obvious, there have been some philosophers who have denied the concept of metamorphosis, such as Plato's predecessor Parmenides
Parmenides
Parmenides of Elea was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Greek city on the southern coast of Italy. He was the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy. The single known work of Parmenides is a poem, On Nature, which has survived only in fragmentary form. In this poem, Parmenides...

 and later Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus
Sextus Empiricus
Sextus Empiricus , was a physician and philosopher, and has been variously reported to have lived in Alexandria, Rome, or Athens. His philosophical work is the most complete surviving account of ancient Greek and Roman skepticism....

, and perhaps some Eastern philosophers. George Santayana
George Santayana
George Santayana was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. A lifelong Spanish citizen, Santayana was raised and educated in the United States and identified himself as an American. He wrote in English and is generally considered an American man of letters...

, in his Scepticism and Animal Faith, attempted to show that the reality of change cannot be proven. If his reasoning is sound, it follows that to be a physicist, one must restrain one's skepticism enough to trust one's senses, or else rely on anti-realism
Anti-realism
In analytic philosophy, the term anti-realism is used to describe any position involving either the denial of an objective reality of entities of a certain type or the denial that verification-transcendent statements about a type of entity are either true or false...

.

Beginning with Schelling
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling , later von Schelling, was a German philosopher. Standard histories of philosophy make him the midpoint in the development of German idealism, situating him between Fichte, his mentor prior to 1800, and Hegel, his former university roommate and erstwhile friend...

, the mode of change studied in natural philosophy has been development, rather than evolution. Development is predictable directional change, while evolution is the irreversible accumulation of historically mediated information.

René Descartes
René Descartes
René Descartes ; was a French philosopher and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the 'Father of Modern Philosophy', and much subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day...

' metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 system of dualism
Dualism
Dualism denotes a state of two parts. The term 'dualism' was originally coined to denote co-eternal binary opposition, a meaning that is preserved in metaphysical and philosophical duality discourse but has been diluted in general or common usages. Dualism can refer to moral dualism, Dualism (from...

 describes two kinds of substance: matter and mind. According to this system, everything that is "matter" is deterministic
Determinism
Determinism is the general philosophical thesis that states that for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given them, nothing else could happen. There are many versions of this thesis. Each of them rests upon various alleged connections, and interdependencies of things and...

 and natural—and so belongs to natural philosophy—and everything that is "mind" is volitional
Free will
"To make my own decisions whether I am successful or not due to uncontrollable forces" -Troy MorrisonA pragmatic definition of free willFree will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. The existence of free will and its exact nature and definition have long...

 and non-natural, and falls outside the domain of philosophy of nature.

Branches and subject matter of natural philosophy


Major branches of natural philosophy include astronomy
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

 and cosmology
Cosmology
Cosmology is the discipline that deals with the nature of the Universe as a whole. Cosmologists seek to understand the origin, evolution, structure, and ultimate fate of the Universe at large, as well as the natural laws that keep it in order...

, the study of nature on the grand scale; etiology
Etiology
Etiology is the study of causation, or origination. The word is derived from the Greek , aitiologia, "giving a reason for" ....

, the study of (intrinsic and sometimes extrinsic) causes; the study of chance, probability and randomness; the study of element
Chemical element
A chemical element is a pure chemical substance consisting of one type of atom distinguished by its atomic number, which is the number of protons in its nucleus. Familiar examples of elements include carbon, oxygen, aluminum, iron, copper, gold, mercury, and lead.As of November 2011, 118 elements...

s; the study of the infinite and the unlimited (virtual or actual); the study of matter
Matter
Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles which have mass. A common way of defining matter is as anything that has mass and occupies volume...

; mechanics
Mechanics
Mechanics is the branch of physics concerned with the behavior of physical bodies when subjected to forces or displacements, and the subsequent effects of the bodies on their environment....

, the study of translation of motion and change; the study of nature
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

 or the various sources of actions; the study of natural qualities
Quality (philosophy)
A quality is an attribute or a property. Attributes are ascribable, by a subject, whereas properties are possessible. In contemporary philosophy, the idea of qualities and especially how to distinguish certain kinds of qualities from one another remains controversial.-Background:Aristotle analyzed...

; the study of physical quantities
Quantity
Quantity is a property that can exist as a magnitude or multitude. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more" or "less" or "equal", or by assigning a numerical value in terms of a unit of measurement. Quantity is among the basic classes of things along with quality, substance, change, and relation...

; the study of relations between physical entities; and the philosophy of space and time
Philosophy of space and time
Philosophy of space and time is the branch of philosophy concerned with the issues surrounding the ontology, epistemology, and character of space and time. While such ideas have been central to philosophy from its inception, the philosophy of space and time was both an inspiration for and a...

. (Adler, 1993)

History of natural philosophy

See History of physics
History of physics
As forms of science historically developed out of philosophy, physics was originally referred to as natural philosophy, a term describing a field of study concerned with "the workings of nature".-Early history:...

, History of chemistry
History of chemistry
By 1000 BC, ancient civilizations used technologies that would eventually form the basis of the various branches of chemistry. Examples include extracting metals from ores, making pottery and glazes, fermenting beer and wine, making pigments for cosmetics and painting, extracting chemicals from...

 and History of astronomy
History of astronomy
Astronomy is the oldest of the natural sciences, dating back to antiquity, with its origins in the religious, mythological, and astrological practices of pre-history: vestiges of these are still found in astrology, a discipline long interwoven with public and governmental astronomy, and not...

 for the history of natural philosophy prior to the 17th century.


Man's mental engagement with nature certainly predates civilization and the record of history. Philosophical, specifically non-religious thought about the natural world goes back to ancient Greece. These lines of thought began before Socrates, who turned from his philosophical studies from speculations about nature to a consideration of man, viz., political philosophy. The thought of early philosophers such Parmenides
Parmenides
Parmenides of Elea was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Greek city on the southern coast of Italy. He was the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy. The single known work of Parmenides is a poem, On Nature, which has survived only in fragmentary form. In this poem, Parmenides...

, Heraclitus
Heraclitus
Heraclitus of Ephesus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Asia Minor. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom...

, and Democritus
Democritus
Democritus was an Ancient Greek philosopher born in Abdera, Thrace, Greece. He was an influential pre-Socratic philosopher and pupil of Leucippus, who formulated an atomic theory for the cosmos....

 centered on the natural world. Plato followed Socrates in concentrating on man. It was Plato's student, Aristotle, who, in basing his thought on the natural world, returned empiricism to its primary place, while leaving room in the world for man. Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being."...

 observes that Aristotle was the originator of conception of nature that prevailed in the middle ages into the modern era:
Aristotle surveyed the thought of his predecessors and conceived of nature in a way that charted a middle course between their excesses.
Aristotle recommended four causes
Four causes
Four Causes refers to a principle in Aristotelian science that is used to understand change. Aristotle described four different types of causes, or ways in which an object could be explained: "we do not have knowledge of a thing until we have grasped its why, that is to say, its cause", He argued...

 as appropriate for the business of the natural philosopher, or physicist, “and if he refers his problems back to all of them, he will assign the ‘why’ in the way proper to his science—the matter, the form, the mover, [and] ‘that for the sake of which’”. While the vagrancies of the material cause are subject to circumstance, the formal, efficient and final cause often coincide because in natural kinds, the mature form and final cause
Teleology
A teleology is any philosophical account which holds that final causes exist in nature, meaning that design and purpose analogous to that found in human actions are inherent also in the rest of nature. The word comes from the Greek τέλος, telos; root: τελε-, "end, purpose...

 are one and the same. The capacity
Potentiality and actuality
In philosophy, Potentiality and Actuality are principles of a dichotomy which Aristotle used throughout his philosophical works to analyze motion, causality, ethics, and physiology in his Physics, Metaphysics, Ethics and De Anima .The concept of potentiality, in this context, generally refers to...

 to mature into a specimen of one's kind is directly acquired from “the primary source of motion”, i.e., from one's father, whose seed (sperma) conveys the essential nature (common to the species), as a hypothetical ratio.

Science has always been a systematic knowledge of causes. From the late middle ages and into the modern era, the tendency has been to narrow "science" to the consideration of efficient or agent causes, and those of a particular kind:

Figures in natural philosophy



The scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 has ancient precedents and Galileo exemplifies a mathematical understanding of nature which is the hallmark of modern natural scientists. The 19th century distinction of a scientific enterprise apart from traditional natural philosophy has its roots prior centuries. Proposals for a more "inquisitive" and practical approach to the study of nature are notable in Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and pioneer of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England...

, whose ardent convictions did much to popularize his insightful Baconian method
Baconian method
The Baconian method is the investigative method developed by Sir Francis Bacon. The method was put forward in Bacon's book Novum Organum , or 'New Method', and was supposed to replace the methods put forward in Aristotle's Organon...

. The late 17th century natural philosopher Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle FRS was a 17th century natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor, also noted for his writings in theology. He has been variously described as English, Irish, or Anglo-Irish, his father having come to Ireland from England during the time of the English plantations of...

 wrote a seminal work on the distinction between physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 and metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 called, A Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature, as well as The Skeptical Chymist, after which the modern science of chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 is named, (as distinct from proto-scientific studies of alchemy
Alchemy
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

). These works of natural philosophy are representative of a departure from the medieval scholasticism
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

 taught in European universities, and anticipate in many ways, the developments which would lead to science
History of science
The history of science is the study of the historical development of human understandings of the natural world and the domains of the social sciences....

 as practiced in the modern sense. As Bacon would say, "vexing nature" to reveal "her" secrets, (scientific experimentation), rather than a mere reliance on largely historical, even anecdotal, observation
Observation
Observation is either an activity of a living being, such as a human, consisting of receiving knowledge of the outside world through the senses, or the recording of data using scientific instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during this activity...

s of empirical phenomena, would come to be regarded as a defining characteristic of modern science, if not the very key to its success. Boyle's biographers, in their emphasis that he laid the foundations of modern chemistry, neglect how steadily he clung to the scholastic sciences in theory, practice and doctrine. However, he meticulously recorded observational detail on practical research, and subsequently advocated not only this practice, but its publication, both for successful and unsuccessful experiments, so as to validate individual claims by replication.

The modern emphasis is less on a broad empiricism (one that includes passive observation of nature's activity), but on a narrow conception of the empirical concentrating on the control exercised through experimental (active) observation for the sake of control of nature. Nature is reduced to a passive recipient of human activity.

Current work in natural philosophy



Especially since the mid-20th-century European crisis, researchers have begun recognizing the importance of looking at nature from a broader, philosophical perspective rather than the narrow, positive approach that relies implicitly on a hidden, unexamined philosophy. One line of thought grows from the thought of Edmund Husserl
Edmund Husserl
Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl was a philosopher and mathematician and the founder of the 20th century philosophical school of phenomenology. He broke with the positivist orientation of the science and philosophy of his day, yet he elaborated critiques of historicism and of psychologism in logic...

, especially as expressed in The Crisis of European Sciences. Students of his such as Jacob Klein
Jacob Klein (philosopher)
Jacob Klein was a German-American philosopher and interpreter of Plato.-Biography:Klein was born in Liepāja, Latvia. He studied at Berlin and Marburg, where he received his Ph.D. in 1922. A student of Nicolai Hartmann, Martin Heidegger, and Edmund Husserl, he later taught at St. John's College in...

 and Hans Jonas
Hans Jonas
Hans Jonas was a German-born philosopher who was, from 1955 to 1976, Alvin Johnson Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York City.Jonas's writings were very influential in different spheres...

 pursued his ideas.

Brian David Ellis
Brian David Ellis
Brian Ellis is an Emeritus Professor in the philosophy department at La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia. He is one of the major proponents of the New Essentialist school of philosophy of science ....

 has categorized more recent efforts as the "New Essentialism." Nancy Cartwright
Nancy Cartwright (philosopher)
Nancy Cartwright FBA is a professor of philosophy at the London School of Economics and the University of California at San Diego, and a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship...

, David Oderberg, and John Dupré
John Dupré
John Dupré is a professional philosopher of science. He is the director of the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society and professor of philosophy at the University of Exeter. Dupré was educated at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge and taught at Oxford, Stanford University and...

 are some of the more prominent thinkers who can arguably be classed as generally adopting this open approach to the natural world.

See also


  • Gentleman scientist
    Gentleman scientist
    A gentleman scientist is a financially independent scientist who pursues scientific study as a hobby. The term arose in post-Renaissance Europe but became less common in the 20th century as government and private funding increased.-History:...

  • History of science
    History of science
    The history of science is the study of the historical development of human understandings of the natural world and the domains of the social sciences....

  • Natural environment
    Natural environment
    The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species....

  • Natural history
    Natural history
    Natural history is the scientific research of plants or animals, leaning more towards observational rather than experimental methods of study, and encompasses more research published in magazines than in academic journals. Grouped among the natural sciences, natural history is the systematic study...

  • Natural theology
    Natural theology
    Natural theology is a branch of theology based on reason and ordinary experience. Thus it is distinguished from revealed theology which is based on scripture and religious experiences of various kinds; and also from transcendental theology, theology from a priori reasoning.Marcus Terentius Varro ...

  • Naturalism (philosophy)
    Naturalism (philosophy)
    Naturalism commonly refers to the philosophical viewpoint that the natural universe and its natural laws and forces operate in the universe, and that nothing exists beyond the natural universe or, if it does, it does not affect the natural universe that we know...

  • Nature (philosophy)
    Nature (philosophy)
    Nature is a concept with two major sets of inter-related meanings, referring on the one hand to the things which are natural, or subject to the normal working of "laws of nature", or on the other hand to the essential properties and causes of those things to be what they naturally are, or in other...

  • Nature
    Nature
    Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...


Further Reading

  • E.A. Burtt, Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science (Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1954).
  • Philip Kitcher, Science, Truth, and Democracy. Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Science. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. LCCN:2001036144 ISBN 0-19-514583-6
  • Bertrand Russell
    Bertrand Russell
    Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things...

    , A History of Western Philosophy
    History of Western Philosophy (Russell)
    A History of Western Philosophy by the philosopher Bertrand Russell is a conspectus of Western philosophy from the pre-Socratic philosophers to the early 20th century. Although criticised for its over-generalization and its omissions, particularly from the post-Cartesian period, it was a popular...

     and Its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day
    (1945) Simon & Schuster, 1972.
  • David Snoke
    David Snoke
    David W. Snoke is a physics professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society "[f]or his pioneering work on the experimental and theoretical understanding of dynamical optical processes in...

    , Natural Philosophy: A Survey of Physics and Western Thought. Access Research Network, 2003. ISBN 1-931796-25-4.http://www.cityreformed.org/snoke/hsbook/hsbook.html http://www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com/Homeschool_Reviews/reviews.php?rid=909

External links