World Views and Issues Around Nature

Part of the Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures book series (SCPT, volume 12)


This chapter explains the background to the conceptualisations of nature . It starts with a general historical overview of world views of different ancient civilisations about nature. The introduction then lists the philosophical issues and themes that are prominently in discussion around the concept of nature and the relationship of human beings to the non-human world. These themes and issues will form the context for further discussions in the succeeding chapters.


Nature World views Conceptualisation of nature Physis Tzu-jan Woman and nature 


  1. Brennan, A., & Lo, Y. S. (2010). Understanding environmental philosophy. Durham: Acumen.Google Scholar
  2. Bruun, O., & Arne, K. (Eds.). (1995). Images of nature: An introduction. In Asian perceptions of nature: a critical approach (pp. 1–24). Richmond: Nordic Institute of Asia Studies, Curzon Press.Google Scholar
  3. Callicott, J. B. (1994). Earth’s insights: A multicultural survey of ecological ethics from the Mediterranean Basin to the Australian Outback. Berkeley: University of California press.Google Scholar
  4. Callicott, J. B., & Nelson, M. P. (1998). Introduction. In J. B. Callicott & P. M. P. Nelson  (Eds.), The great new wilderness debate  (pp.1–20). Athens: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  5. Callicott, J. B., & Ames, R. T. (Eds.). (1989). Introduction. In Nature in Asian traditions of thought. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  6. Chakravarti, U. (1993). Conceptualising brahmanical patriarchy in early India: gender, caste, class and state. Economic and Political Weekly, 28(14), 581–583.Google Scholar
  7. Collingwood, R. G. (1945). The idea of nature. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  8. Copleston, S. J. F. (1993). The cradle of western thought: Ionia. In A history of western philosophy, vol. 1, Greece and Rome. New York: Image Books, Doubleday Publishing Group, Inc. (Reprint, 1962).Google Scholar
  9. Cronon, W. (1995). The trouble with wilderness; or, getting back to the wrong nature. In W. Cronon (Ed.), Uncommon ground: Rethinking the human place in nature, (pp. 69–90). New York: W. W. Norton & Co.Google Scholar
  10. Duncan, C. A. M. (1991). On identifying a sound environmental ethic in history: Prolegomena to any future environmental history. Environmental History Review, 15(2), 5–30.Google Scholar
  11. Gaard, G. (Ed.). (2003). Living interconnections with animals and nature. In Ecofeminism: Women, animals, nature. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Gottelieb, R. S. (Ed.). (2004). Introduction. In This sacred earth: Religion, nature, environment. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Guthrie, W. K. C. (1950). The Greek philosophers: From Thales to Aristotle. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  14. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). (1980). World conservation strategy: Living resource conservation for sustainable development.  Prepared with cooperation of the organisations, UNEP-WWF, FAO and UNESCO. Available at
  15. Keulartz, J. (1995). The struggle for nature: a critique of radical ecology (R. Kuitenbrouwer, Trans.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Lafrenniere, G. F. (1985). World views and environmental ethics. Environmental Review, 9(4), 307–322 (Special issue: Roots of ecological thought (winter)).Google Scholar
  17. Larson, G. J. (1987. ‘Conceptual resources’ in South Asia for ‘environmental ethics’ or the fly is still alive and well in the bottle. Philosophy East and West. 37(2), 150–159.Google Scholar
  18. Latour, B. (2004). Politics of nature: How to bring the sciences into democracy (C. Potter, Trans.). Hyderabad: Orient Longman.Google Scholar
  19. Leiss, W. (1994). The domination of nature. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. (Stable URL).
  20. Lewis, Michael (Ed.). (2007). American wilderness: A new history. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Lovelock, J. (1982).  Gaia: A new look at life on Earth. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Macdonell, A. A. (1927). India’s past: A survey of her literatures, religions, languages and antiquities. New Delhi: Asian Educational services.Google Scholar
  23. Marshall, P. (1992). Nature’s web: Rethinking our place on Earth (1st ed.). London: Simon and Schuster Ltd.Google Scholar
  24. McClure, M. T. (1933). The Greek conception of nature. In Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association (Vol. 7, p. 120).Google Scholar
  25. Merchant, C. (1990). Preface: 1990. In The death of nature. New York: Harper San Francisco.Google Scholar
  26. Nelson, M. (2008). The great new wilderness debate: An overview. In P. M. P. Nelson & J. B. Callicott (Eds.), The wilderness debate rages on: Continuing the great new wilderness debate (pp. 200–207). Athens: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  27. Nobles, W. W. (2000). African philosophy: Foundations for Black Psychology. In F. W. Hayes III (Ed.), A turbulent voyage. Lanham: Rowman and LittleField Publishers.Google Scholar
  28. Panikkar, R. (1977). The vedic experience: Mantramanjari. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.Google Scholar
  29. Parkes, G. (1989). Human/Nature in Nietzsche and Taoism.  In J. B. Callicott & R. T. Ames (Eds.), Nature in Asian traditions of thought (pp. 79–98). Albany: State University of New York.Google Scholar
  30. Pojman, L. P. (2003). Classics of philosophy (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Plumwood, V. (1993). Feminism and the mastery of nature. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Robinet, I. (1997). Taoism: Growth of a religion (P. Brooks, Trans.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. (Stable URL).
  33. Sherma, R. D. G. (2000). Sacred immanence: Reflections of ecofeminism in hindu tantra. In L. E. Nelson (Ed.), Purifying the earthly body of god: Religion and ecology in Hindu India (pp. 89–133). New Delhi: D.K Printworld (P) Ltd.Google Scholar
  34. Shrirama, I. (1966). Correspondence between woman and nature in Indian thought. Philosophy East and West, 16(3/4), 164.Google Scholar
  35. Soper, K. (1995). What is Nature? Culture, politics and the non-human. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.Google Scholar
  36. Taylor, P. (1986). W. Respect for nature: A theory of environmental ethics. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Tellenbach, H., & Bin K. (1989). The Japanese concept of nature. In J. B. Callicott & R. T. Ames (Eds.), Nature in Asian traditions of thought. Albany: State University of New York.Google Scholar
  38. Thoreau, H. D., & Dillman, R. (Eds.). (2001). The major essays of Henry David Thoreau. Albany, NY: Whitston.Google Scholar
  39. Tucker, M. E. (1991). The relevance of Chinese Neo-confucianism for the reverence of nature. Environmental History Review, 55–69.Google Scholar
  40. Thapar, R. (2002). The Penguin history of early India: From the origins to AD 1300. New Delhi: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  41. Warren, K. J. (Ed.). (1996). Ecological feminist Philosophies: An overview of the issues. In Ecological feminist philosophies. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Wei-ming, T. (1989). ‘The continuity of being: Chinese visions of nature. In J. B. Callicott & R. T. Ames (Eds.), Nature in Asian traditions of thought (pp. 67–78). Albany: State University of New York.Google Scholar
  43. White, L, Jr. (1967). Historic roots of our ecological crisis. Science, 155, 1203–1207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Williams, R. (1989). Nature. In Keywords: A vocabulary of culture and society. London: Fontana. (Reprint, 1975).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Manipal Centre for Philosophy and HumanitiesManipal University ManipalIndia

Personalised recommendations