The Concept of Nature. Historical and Epistemological Aspects

  • Jürgen Mittelstraß
Part of the Wissenschaftsethik und Technikfolgenbeurteilung book series (ETHICSSCI, volume 19)


Nature is a key word in the history of European thought — in science, philosophy and theology. Already presocratic philosophy, which we take to be the beginnings of scientific thinking, wrote largely about nature — πεϱì φύσεως, de natura —, and its expounders wrote about thunder and lightning, solar eclipses, earthquakes and magnetic phenomena, but also about coming to be and passing away and about the essence of things. Philosophy began as philosophy of nature, and the subject matter of this philosophy of nature included both the things of nature and the nature of things. This means in turn that scientific, epistemological, and metaphysical aspects are closely associated in the concept of nature; and this applies not only to the beginnings of science, epistemology, and metaphysics, but also to their later histories.


Solar Eclipse Absolute Space Occult Power Aristotelian Concept Hole Argument 
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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  • Jürgen Mittelstraß

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