The Ends of Nature

  • Rolf Peter Sieferle
Part of the Wissenschaftsethik und Technikfolgenbeurteilung book series (ETHICSSCI, volume 19)


Everyone thinks they know what nature is, but everyone has a different idea of what it actually is. An extreme definition might be that “nature” is that which obeys the laws of physics, such as gravity. According to this definition, every machine would be nature, and non-nature could only consist of immaterial things, such as thoughts or dreams. This would mean that nature was almost everything, the word would be identical with the physical world outside our imagination. “Nature” could, on the other hand, be that which man has not shaped, made, or influenced. This would define nature as untouched by human hand, and that is, on this earth in any case, very seldom to be found. The possible meanings of the concept of nature lie between almost everything and almost nothing, and this is undeniably very vague and unsatisfactory.


Natural Order Environmental Crisis Fall Nature Ancien Regime Christian World 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

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  • Rolf Peter Sieferle

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