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Nature

(3,393 words)

Author(s): Harrington, Anne | Meyer-Abich, Klaus Michael | Gregersen, Niels Henrik | Niekerk, Kees van Kooten
[German Version] I. Terminology and Natural Science 1. Terminology. The term “nature” (Gk ϕύσις/ phýsis; Lat. natura [ Physis/Natura : II, 2]) is a concept that derives from Aristotle and ancient philosophy. There it denotes that which is of itself, as distinct from that which is made by art or culture (Arist. Phys. II 1.6). Greek philosophy distinguished, if often implicitly, between (a) investigation of ethical, juridical and political questions as the field of human interest and (b) study of the origin of nature and physical reality. In this c…