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natureφύσις (gr.); natura (lat.); nature (fr.); Natur (ger.)

  • 1) The inherent or essential quality or constitution of a thing; the inherent and inseparable combination of properties giving any object, event, quality, emotion, etc., its fundamental character. (OED 2003)
    human nature
    c. -800 (BC)

    ὣς ἄρα φωνήσας πόρε φάρμακον ἀργεϊφόντης ἐκ γαίης ἐρύσας, καί μοι φύσιν αὐτοῦ ἔδειξε. ῥίζῃ μὲν μέλαν ἔσκε, γάλακτι δὲ εἴκελον ἄνθος [So saying, Argeiphontes gave me the herb, drawing it from the ground, and showed me its nature. At the root it was black, but its flower was like milk]

    Homer (c. -800) (BC). Odyssey 10, 302-4 [transl. by W. Merry, J. Riddell & D.B. Monro 1901].

    c. -500 (BC)

    ἐγὼ διηλεῦμαι κατὰ φύσιν διαιρέων καστον καὶ φράξων κως χει. [I distinguish each thing according to its constitution and declare how it is]

    Heraclitus (c. -500) (BC). [Fragment 1] (acct. to Sextus Empiricus, Adversus Mathematicos VII, 132; DK 22B1) [transl. G.S. Kirk & J.E. Raven 1957/84]

    c. -476 (BC)

    σοφὸς ὁ πολλὰ εἰδὼς φυᾷ: μαθόντες δὲ λάβροι [The man who knows a great deal by nature is truly skillful]

    Pindar (c. -476) (BC). Olympian 2, 86 [transl. in perseus.tufts.edu].

    c. -410 (BC)

    ἆρ᾽ οὐχ ὧδε δεῖ διανοεῖσθαι περὶ ὁτουοῦν φύσεως: πρῶτον μέν, ἁπλοῦν ἢ πολυειδές ἐστιν οὗ πέρι βουλησόμεθα εἶναι αὐτοὶ τεχνικοὶ καὶ ἄλλον δυνατοὶ ποιεῖν, ἔπειτα δέ, ἂν μὲν ἁπλοῦν ᾖ, σκοπεῖν τὴν δύναμιν αὐτοῦ, τίνα πρὸς τί πέφυκεν εἰς τὸ δρᾶν ἔχον ἢ τίνα εἰς τὸ παθεῖν ὑπὸ τοῦ, ἐὰν δὲ πλείω εἴδη ἔχῃ, ταῦτα ἀριθμησάμενον, ὅπερ ἐφ᾽ ἑνός, τοῦτ᾽ ἰδεῖν ἐφ᾽ ἑκάστου, τῷ τί ποιεῖν αὐτὸ πέφυκεν ἢ τῷ τί παθεῖν ὑπὸ τοῦ
    [In considering the nature of anything, must we not consider first, whether that in respect to which we wish to be learned ourselves and to make others learned is simple or multiform, and then, if it is simple, enquire what power of acting it possesses, or of being acted upon, and by what, and if it has many forms, number them, and then see in the case of each form, as we did in the case of the simple nature, what its action is and how it is acted upon and by what?]

    Plato (c. -410) (BC). Phaidrus 270d-e [transl. H.N. Fowler, 1925].

    388 AD

    ipsa natura nihil est aliud, quam id quod intelligitur in suo genere aliquid esse [nature means nothing else than that which anything is conceived of as being in its own kind.]

    Augustinus (388). De moribus Manichaeorum 2, 2 [transl. R. Stothert].

    c. 850

    sapientia […] quae est humana natura […]
    humana natura ex intelligibilibus et sensibilibus composita est (anima dico et corpore)

    John Scotus Eriugena (c. 850). Periphyseon (De divisione naturae) (CM 164, ed. Edvardus A. Jeauneau, 2000): 55 (lib. 4); 66 (lib. 5).

    1098

    Non puto mortalitatem ad puram, sed ad corruptam hominis naturam pertinere. [In my opinion mortality pertains not to pure human nature but only to its corrupt form.]

    Anselm of Canterbury (1094-98). Cur deus homo: lib. 2, cap. XI [transl. by D.P. Henry, 1974].

    1266-73

    seminalia virtutum insunt nobis a natura, inquantum rationales sumus. [the seeds of the virtues exist in us by nature insofar as we are rational.]

    Thomas Aquinas (1266-73). Summa theological: prima secundae, quaest. 63, art. 1 [transl. A.J. Freddoso]; cf. id., Quaestiones disputatae de anima, qu. I, arg. 3.

    1268

    natura hominis, habet duplex esse: unum quidem materiale, secundum quod est in materia naturali; aliud autem immateriale, secundum quod est in intellectu.

    Thomas Aquinas (1268). In Aristotelis libros De anima II et III:II, 12, N. 378.

    1393

    I schal more seie Upon the nature of the vice.

    Gower, J. (c. 1393). Confessio Amantis (Fairf.): 531 (vi) (acc. to OED).

    c. 1866

    the nature of man is to have no nature

    Grote, J. (c. 1866). A Treatise on the Moral Ideals (ed. J.B. Mayor, Cambridge 1876): 388.

  • 2) The phenomena of the physical world collectively; esp. plants, animals, and other features and products of the earth itself, as opposed to humans and human creations. (OED 2003)
    natural history
    c. -410 (BC)

    ζῷα δὴ πάντα θνητά, καὶ δὴ καὶ φυτὰ ὅσα τ᾽ ἐπὶ γῆς ἐκ σπερμάτων καὶ ῥιζῶν φύεται, καὶ ὅσα ἄψυχα ἐν γῇ συνίσταται σώματα τηκτὰ καὶ ἄτηκτα, μῶν ἄλλου τινὸς ἢ θεοῦ δημιουργοῦντος φήσομεν ὕστερον γίγνεσθαι πρότερον οὐκ ὄντα; […] φύσιν αὐτὰ γεννᾶν ἀπό τινος αἰτίας αὐτομάτης καὶ ἄνευ διανοίας φυούσης, ἢ μετὰ λόγου τε καὶ ἐπιστήμης θείας ἀπὸ θεοῦ γιγνομένης;
    [There are all the animals, and all the plants that grow out of the earth from seeds and roots, and all the lifeless substances, fusible and infusible, that are formed within the earth. Shall we say that they came into being, not having been before, in any other way than through God’s workmanship? […] nature brings them forth from some self-acting cause, without creative intelligence. Or shall we say that they are created by reason and by divine knowledge that comes from God?]

    Plato (c. -410) (BC). Sophist 265C [transl. H.N. Fowler 1921].

    c. -350 (BC)

    φύσει μὲν οὖν αἴσθησιν ἔχοντα γίγνεται τὰ ζῷα, ἐκ δὲ ταύτης τοῖς μὲν αὐτῶν οὐκ ἐγγίγνεται μνήμη, τοῖς δ᾽ ἐγγίγνεται. […] τὰ μὲν οὖν ἄλλα ταῖς φαντασίαις ζῇ καὶ ταῖς μνήμαις, ἐμπειρίας δὲ μετέχει μικρόν: τὸ δὲ τῶν ἀνθρώπων γένος καὶ τέχνῃ καὶ λογισμοῖς.
    [Now animals are by nature born with the power of sensation, and from this some acquire the faculty of memory, whereas others do not. […] Thus the other animals live by impressions and memories, and have but a small share of experience; but the human race lives also by art and reasoning.]
    [Von Natur nun entstehen die Lebewesen mit sinnlicher Wahrnehmung, aus dieser entsteht bei einigen von ihnen keine Erinnerung, bei anderen wohl […] Die anderen Lebewesen leben nun mit Vorstellungen und Erinnerungen und haben nur geringen Anteil an Erfahrung, das Geschlecht der Menschen dagegen lebt auch mit Kunst und Überlegungen]

    Aristotle (c. -350) (BC). Metaphysics 980a27; b25 [Engl. transl. by H. Tredennick 1933; Germ. transl. by H. Bonitz & H. Seidl].

    c. -350 (BC)

    Τῶν ὄντων τὰ μέν ἐστι φύσει, τὰ δὲ δι' ἄλλας αἰτίας, φύσει μὲν τά τε ζῷα καὶ τὰ μέρη αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ φυτὰ καὶ τὰ ἁπλᾶ τῶν σωμάτων, οἷον γῆ καὶ πῦρ καὶ ἀὴρ καὶ ὕδωρ (ταῦτα γὰρ εἶναι καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα φύσει φαμέν), πάντα δὲ ταῦτα φαίνεται διαφέροντα πρὸς τὰ μὴ φύσει συνεστῶτα. τούτων μὲν γὰρ ἕκαστον ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἀρχὴν ἔχει κινήσεως καὶ στάσεως, τὰ μὲν κατὰ τόπον, τὰ δὲ κατ' αὔξησιν καὶ φθίσιν, τὰ δὲ κατ' ἀλλοίωσιν· κλίνη δὲ καὶ ἱμάτιον, καὶ εἴ τι τοιοῦτον ἄλλο γένος ἐστίν, ᾗ μὲν τετύχηκε τῆς κατηγορίας ἑκάστης καὶ καθ' ὅσον ἐστὶν ἀπὸ τέχνης, οὐδεμίαν ὁρμὴν ἔχει μεταβολῆς ἔμφυτον […] οὐδὲν γὰρ αὐτῶν ἔχει τὴν ἀρχὴν ἐν ἑαυτῷ τῆς ποιήσεως
    [Of things that exist, some exist by nature, some from other causes. ‘By nature’ the animals and their parts exist, and the plants and the simple bodies (earth, fire, air, water) — for we say that these and the like exist ‘by nature’. All the things mentioned present a feature in which they differ from things which are not constituted by nature. Each of them has within itself a principle of motion and of stationariness (in respect of place, or of growth and decrease, or by way of alteration). On the other hand, a bed and a coat and anything else of that sort, qua receiving these designations i.e. in so far as they are products of art — have no innate impulse to change. […] None of them has in itself the source of its own production.]
    [Unter den vorhandenen (Dingen) sind die einen von Natur aus, die anderen sind auf Grund anderer Ursachen da. Von Natur aus: Die Tiere und deren Teile, die Pflanzen und die einfachen unter den Körpern, wie Erde, Feuer, Luft und Wasser; von diesen und Ähnlichem sagen wir ja, es sei von Natur aus. Alle diese erscheinen uns als unterschieden gegenüber dem, was nicht von Natur aus besteht. Von diesen hat nämlich ein jedes in sich selbst einen Anfang von Veränderung und Bestand, teils bezogen auf Raum, teils auf Wachstum und Schwinden, teils auf Eigenschaftsveränderung. Hingegen, Liege und Kleid, und das was dergleichen Gattungen sonst noch geben mag, hat, insoweit ihm eine jede solche Bezeichnung eignet und insoweit es ein kunstmäßig hergestelltes Ding ist, keinerlei innenwohnenden Drang zu Veränderung in sich; […] keins von diesen Dingen enthält ja in sich den Anfangsgrund seiner Herstellung]

    Aristotle (c. -350) (BC). Physics 192b [Engl. transl. by R.P. Hardie & R.K. Gaye; Germ. transl. H.G. Zekl 1987).

    c. 1380

    Þe ox & þe asse […] knewe hym by his clannes for Kyng of nature

    Anonymus (c. 1380). Cleanness (1920): 1087 (acc. to OED).

    1637

    on en peut trouver une pratique, par laquelle, connoissant la force et les actions du feu, de l’eau, de l’air, des astres, des cieux, et de tous les autres corps qui nous environnent, aussi distinctement que nous connoissons les divers métiers de nos artisans, nous les pourrions employer en même façon à tous les usages auxquels ils sont propres, et ainsi nous rendre comme maîtres et possesseurs de la nature.

    Descartes, R. (1637). Discours de la méthode (Œuvres de Descartes, ed. . In: C. Adam & P. Tannery, vol. VI, Paris 1982, 1-78): 62.

    1763

    Art, indeed, is often requisite to collect and epitomize the beauties of nature

    Shenstone, W. (1763). Works (1768), vol. II: 106 (acc. to OED).

    1795

    Natur in dieser Betrachtungsart ist uns nichts anders, als das freiwillige Daseyn, das Bestehen der Dinge durch sich selbst, die Existenz nach eignen und unabänderlichen Gesetzen. […] Daraus erhellet, daß diese Art des Wohlgefallens an der Natur kein ästhetisches, sondern ein moralisches ist; denn es wird durch eine Idee vermittelt, nicht unmittelbar durch Betrachtung erzeugt; auch richtet es sich ganz und gar nicht nach der Schönheit der Formen. Was hätte auch eine unscheinbare Blume, eine Quelle, ein bemooster Stein, das Gezwitscher der Vögel, das Summen der Bienen etc. für sich selbst etwas gefälliges für uns? Was könnte ihm gar einen Anspruch auf unsere Liebe geben? Es sind nicht diese Gegenstände, es ist eine durch sie dargestellte Idee, was wir in ihnen lieben. Wir lieben in ihnen das stille schaffende Leben, das ruhige Wirken aus sich selbst, das Daseyn nach eignen Gesetzen, die innere Nothwendigkeit, die ewige Einheit mit sich selbst. Sie sind, was wir waren; sie sind, was wir wieder werden sollen.

    Schiller, F. (1795). Ueber das Naive. Die Horen 4, 43-76: 44-5.

    1954

    Der Naturschutzgedanke ist seinem Inhalt und seiner Herkunft nach im wesentlichen ein Sproß der romantischen Geisteshaltung. […] Das Eigengesetzliche, das im Gegensatz zum Menschenwerk Stehende ist es, das uns die Schöpfungen des Erdbodens oder der Tier- und Pflanzenwelt, deren Befriedung wir anstreben, in erster Linie beachtlich erscheinen läßt.

    Schoenichen, W. (1954). Naturschutz, Heimatschutz. Ihre Begründung durch Ernst Rudorff, Hugo Conwentz und ihre Vorläufer: 1-2.

    1997

    Offenbar erfüllt die Rede von der Natur bestimmte Ordnungs- und Orientierungsbedürfnisse. […] [Es] verweist die Popularität von »Natur« darauf, daß es eine dem Begriff zugrundeliegende Evidenz gibt, die mit der Nennung dieses Worts heraufbeschworen wird. […] Natur [steht] für das Elementare, Selbständige, Spontane, Gewachsene, Nichtverfügbare, Nichtproduzierte […;] der Begriff der Natur […] zielt eben auf dasjenige, was von der Kultur (noch) nicht bearbeitet, umgestaltet und verbaut worden ist.

    Sieferle, R.P. (1997). Rückblick auf die Natur. Eine Geschichte des Menschen und seiner Umwelt: 17-8.

    2016

    Hier scheint mir die Wurzel der ökologischen Grundangst der Spätmoderne zu liegen: Nicht dass wir die Natur als Ressource verlieren, sondern dass die Natur als Resonanzsphäre verstummen könnte, als ein eigenständiges Gegenüber, das uns antworten kann und damit Orientierung zu stiften vermag, ist der Kern der tiefschürfenden Umweltsorge der Gegenwart. Das Verstummen der Natur (in uns und außer uns), ihre Reduktion auf Verfügbares und Noch-verfügbar-zu-Machendes ist aus resonanztheoretischer Perspektive das eigentliche kulturelle ›Umweltproblem‹ spätmoderner Gesellschaften.

    Rosa, H. (2016). Resonanz. Eine Soziologie der Weltbeziehung: 463.

  • 3) A normal state (of health) or (ethically) good state of affairs that can be experienced in the world and should be achieved in human life.
    health
    c. -400 (BC)

    ἐχρῆν τὸν ἰητρὸν τῶν ἐκπτωσίων τε καὶ κατηγμάτων ὡς ἰθυτάτας τὰς κατατάσιας ποιέεσθαι: αὕτη γὰρ ἡ δικαιοτάτη φύσις. [In treating fractures and dislocations, the physician must make the extension as straight as possible, for this is the most natural direction.]

    Hippocrates (c. -400) (BC). De fracturis 1,1 [transl. F. Adams 1886].

    c. -300 (BC)

    τέλος εστὶ τὸ ὁμολογουμένως τῆ φύσει ζῆν. [The end is to live consistently with nature.]

    Cleanthes (c. -300) (BC). [Fragment] (acc. to Stobbaeus 2, 76; ed. A.A. Long & D.N. Sedley, Hellenistic Philosophers, vol. 2, 1989): 63B.

    c. -250 (BC)

    διόπερ πρῶτος ὁ Ζήνων ἐν τῷ Περὶ ἀνθρώπου φύσεως τέλος εἶπε τὸ ὁμολογουμένως τῇ φύσει ζῆν. ὅπερ ἐστὶ κατ’ ἀρετὴν ζῆν. ἄγει γὰρ πρὸς ταύτην ἡμᾶς ἡ φύσις. ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Κλεάνθης ἐν τῷ Περὶ ἡδονῆς καὶ Ποσειδώνιος καὶ Ἑκάτων ἐν τοῖς Περὶ τελῶν. πάλιν δ’ ἴσον ἐστὶ τὸ κατ’ ἀρετὴν ζῆν τῷ κατ’ ἐμπειρίαν τῶν φύσει συμβαινόντων ζῆν, ὥς φησι Χρύσιππος ἐν τῷ πρώτῳ Περὶ τελῶν. μέρη γάρ εἰσιν αἱ ἡμέτεραι φύσεις τῆς τοῦ ὅλου. διόπερ τέλος γίνεται τὸ ἀκολούθως τῇ φύσει ζῆν, ὅπερ ἐστὶ κατά τε τὴν αὑτοῦ καὶ κατὰ τὴν τῶν ὅλων, οὐδὲν ἐνεργοῦντας ὧν ἀπαγορεύειν εἴωθεν ὁ νόμος ὁ κοινός […] φύσιν δὲ Χρύσιππος μὲν ἐξακούει, ᾗ ἀκολούθως δεῖ ζῆν, τήν τε κοινὴν καὶ ἰδίως τὴν ἀνθρωπίνην. ὁ δὲ Κλεάνθης τὴν κοινὴν μόνην ἐκδέχεται φύσιν, ᾗ ἀκολουθεῖν δεῖ, οὐκέτι δὲ καὶ τὴν ἐπὶ μέρους.
    [Zeno was the first (in his treatise On the Nature of Man) to designate as the end “life in agreement with nature” (or living agreeably to nature), which is the same as a virtuous life, virtue being the goal towards which nature guides us. So too Cleanthes in his treatise On Pleasure, as also Posidonius, and Hecato in his work On Ends. Again, living virtuously is equivalent to living in accordance with experience of the actual course of nature, as Chrysippus says in the first book of his De finibus; for our individual natures are parts of the nature of the whole universe. And this is why the end may be defined as life in accordance with nature, or, in other words, in accordance with our own human nature as well as that of the universe, a life in which we refrain from every action forbidden by the law common to all things […] By the nature with which our life ought to be in accord, Chrysippus understands both universal nature and more particularly the nature of man, whereas Cleanthes takes the nature of the universe alone as that which should be followed, without adding the nature of the individual.]

    Chrysippus (c. -250) (BC). [De finibus] (acc. to Diogenes Laërtius VII, 87; 89) [transl. by R.D. Hicks 1925].

    c. -250 (BC)

    ζῆν κατ’ ἐμπειρίαν τῶν φύσει συμβαινόντων. [to live in accordance with one’s experience of nature]

    Chrysippus (c. -250) (BC). [Fragment] (acc. to Stobbaeus 2, 76; ed. A.A. Long & D.N. Sedley, Hellenistic Philosophers, vol. 2, 1989): 63B.

    -44 (BC)

    Ut navem, ut aedificium idem destruit facillime, qui construxit, sic hominem eadem optime quae conglutinavit natura dissolvit. [For as the Man who has built a Ship knows best how to take it in Pieces, so Nature knows best how to undo what she has put together.]

    Cicero (-44) (BC). Cato maior de senectute xx (Engl. transl. W. Guthrie, London 1755).

    1675

    nature knows best what’s good for it self

    Baxter, R. (1675). A Treatise of Self-Denial: 136.

    1766

    wen anders als die Natur können wir fragen, um zu wissen, wie wir leben sollen, um wohl zu leben?

    Wieland, C.M. (1766). Geschichte des Agathon, Erster Theil: 82.

    1772

    Combien nous sommes loin de la nature et du bonheur! […] Voulez-vous savoir l’histoire abrégée de presque toute notre misère? La voici. Il existait un homme naturel: on a introduit au dedans de cet homme un homme artificiel; et il s’est élevé dans la caverne une guerre civile qui dure toute la vie.

    Diderot, D. (1772). Supplément au voyage de Bougainville (Œuvres complètes de Diderot, vol. 2, Paris 1875, 192-250): 245-6.

    1842

    es liegt ein Anstand, ich möchte sagen ein Ausdruck von Tugend in dem von Menschenhänden noch nicht berührten Antlitze der Natur

    Stifter, A. (1842). Der Hochwald. In: Iris. Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1842, 267-413: 311.

    1880

    Soll aber die Natur moralisch, d. h. reinigend und erhebend wirken, so muß sie vor allem selbst unentweihte, unverfälschte Natur geblieben sein.

    Rudorff, E. (1880). Über das Verhältniß des modernen Lebens zur Natur. Preußische Jahrbücher 45, 261-276: 269.

    1920

    Die freie Natur befindet sich stets in harmonischem Gleichgewicht

    Guenther, K. (1920). Kultur und Tierwelt: 5.

    1971

    The Third Law of Ecology: Nature Knows Best […] Stated baldly, the third law of ecology holds that any major man-made change in a natural system is likely to be detrimental to that system. […] when mutation frequency is enhanced by x-rays or other means, nearly all the mutations are harmful to the organisms and the great majority so damaging as to kill the organism before it is fully formed.

    Commoner, B. (1971). The Closing Circle. Nature, Man and Technology: 41-2.

  • 4) A raw state of affairs with bad aspects which have to be overcome by cultivating or civilizing them.
    animal
    c. -51 (BC)

    Hominem non a matre, sed a noverca natura editum ad vitam, corpore nudo fragili et infirmo, animo autem anxio ad molestias, humili ad timores, molli ad labores, prono ad libidines, in quo tamen inesset tamquam obrutus quidam divinus ignis ingeni et mentis.
    [Nature has treated man less like a mother than a step-dame. She has cast him into mortal life with a body naked, fragile, and infirm; and with a mind agitated by troubles, depressed by fears, broken by labours, and exposed to passions. In this mind, however, there lies hid, and as it were buried, a certain divine spark of genius and intellect; and the soul should impute much of its present infirmity to the dulness contracted from its earthly vehicle.]

    Cicero (c. -51) (BC). De re publica 3, 1 (acc. to Augustinus, Contra Iulianum 4, 12, 60) [Engl. transl. F. Barham 1841].

    c. 40 AD

    ἤδη γὰρ τοῦτο παρὰ τοῖς δοκιμωτάτοις τῶν πάλαι λογίων ὡμολόγηται, οἳ τῶν μὲν ἀλόγων μητέρα τὴν φύσιν, ἀνθρώπων δὲ μητρυιὰν ¦ ἔφασαν εἶναι, τὴν κατὰ σῶμα τῶν μὲν ἀσθένειαν, τῶν δὲ ὑπερβάλλουσαν ἐν ἅπασιν ἰσχὺν κατανοήσαντες. εἰκότως οὖν κατήλεσε τὸν μόσχον ὁ τεχνίτης, τουτέστιν εἰς μέρη διελὼν τὰ οἷς σῶμα πλεονεκτεῖ πάντα τοῦ πρὸς ἀλήθειαν ἐπέδειξεν ἀγαθοῦ μακρὰν διεστῶτα καὶ μηδὲν τῶν ἐφ’ ὕδατος σπειρομένων διαφέροντα.
    [this point has been long agreed upon among all the most eminent historians and philosophers, who have all said that nature is the mother of the irrational animals, and the stepmother of men, perceiving the bodily weakness of men, and the surpassing strength of brute animals in everything. With great propriety, therefore, the artist pounded the calf to pieces; that is to say, dividing it into parts, he showed that all the things which the body has in abundance are very far removed from real good, and are in no respect different from those things which are scattered on the water.]

    Philo of Alexandria (c. 40 AD). Περί των του δοκησισόφου Κάιν εγγόνων και ως μετανάστης γίγνεται (De posteritate Caini) 162 (Engl. transl. by F.H. Colson & G.H. Whitaker, On the posterity and exile of Cain).

    79 AD

    principium iure tribuetur homini, cuius causa videtur cuncta alia genuisse natura, magna, saeva mercede contra tanta sua munera, non ut sit satis aestimare, parens melior homini an tristior noverca fuerit. ante omnia unum animantium cunctorum alienis velat opibus. ceteris sua varie tegimenta tribuit, testas, cortices, coria, spinas, villos, saetas, pilos, plumam, pinnas, squamas, vellera; truncos etiam arboresque cortice, interdum gemino, a frigoribus et calore tutata est: hominem tantum nudum et in nuda humo natali die abicit ad vagitus statim et ploratum, nullumque tot animalium aliud ad lacrimas, et has protinus vitae principio
    [Our first attention is justly due to Man, for whose sake all other things appear to have been produced by Nature; though, on the other hand, with so great and so severe penalties for the enjoyment of her bounteous gifts, that it is far from easy to determine, whether she has proved to him a kind parent, or a merciless step-mother. In the first place, she obliges him alone, of all animated beings, to clothe himself with the spoils of the others; while, to all the rest, she has given various kinds of coverings, such as shells, crusts, spines, hides, furs, bristles, hair, down, feathers, scales, and fleeces. The very trunks of the trees even, she has protected against the effects of heat and cold by a bark, which is, in some cases, twofold. Man alone, at the very moment of his birth cast naked upon the laked earth, does she abandon to cries, to lamentations, and, a thing that is the case with no other animal whatever, to tears: this, too, from the very moment that he enters upon existence.]

    Pliny (79 AD). Naturalis historia 7, 1 [Engl. trans. J. Bostock 1855].

    c. 300

    Queruntur hominem nimis inbecillum et fragilem nasci quam cetera nascantur animalia: quae ut sunt edita ex utero, protinus in pedes suos erigi et gestire discursibus statimque aeri tolerando idonea esse, quod in lucem naturalibus indumentis munita processerint, hominem contra nudum et inermem tamquam ex naufragio in huius uitae miserias proici et expelli. qui neque mouere se loco ubi effusus est possit nec alimentum lactis adpetere nec iniuriam temporia ferre. itaque naturam non matrem esse humani generis, sed nouercam, quae cum mutis tam liberaliter gesserit, hominem uero sic effuderit, ut inops et infirmus et omni auxilio indigens nihil aliud possit quam fragilitatis suae condicionem ploratu ac fletibus ominari, scilicet cui tantum in uita restet transire malorum.
    [They complain that man is born more weak and frail than other animals. For as sson as the others come forth form the womb, they are able at once to sand erect and move about with delight, and thy are at one able to endure the air becase they have come froth into the light fortified by natural protections. Man, on the other hand, they claim, is cast forth naked and unarmed as from a shipwreck and is hurled upon the miseries of this life. He is able neither to move himself from the place where he has been put forth, not to seek the nourishment of milk, nor to bear the brunt of weather. So they say that nature is not the mother of the human race, but a stepmother. She has been very liberal with the dumb beasts, but she has produced man in such a way that that needy, and weak, and in want of all aid he can do nothing else but indicate his condition by wailing and weeping, that is ‘as one for whom there remains in life only the passage of evils’.]

    Lactance (c. 300). De opificio Dei 3, 1-2 [Engl. transl. by Mary Francis McDonald 1965].

    c. 1255

    Ergo cum humana natura lapsa esset, et nihilominus reparabilis erat, decuit ut eam repararet. [...]
    Conveniens etiam fuit quantum ad humanam naturam, quia generaliter lapsa erat.

    Thomas Aquinas (c. 1255). In III Sententiarum: Dist. 1, Quaest. 1, Art. 2; Dist. 20, Quaest. 1, Art. 1.

    c. 1270

    Praeterea, sicut homo claudus est homo, ita natura lapsa est natura. Sed irasci est naturae lapsae. Ergo irasci est aliquid conveniens naturae. […] Et similiter naturae lapsae ira convenit in quantum natura est lapsa: ex hoc enim contingit quod motus irae discedit ab ordine rationis.
    [As a lame man is a human being, so our fallen nature is a nature. But getting angry belongs to our fallen nature. Therefore, anger is something befitting our nature. […] And likewise, anger can belong to our fallen nature insofar as it is fallen, for this results in movements of anger departing from the ordination of reason.]

    Thomas Aquinas (c. 1270). Quaestiones disputatae de malo: Quaest. 12, Art. 2, Argum. 2; Resp. 2 [Engl. transl. R. Regan 2003].

    c. 1290

    homo semper ex natura habebat posse mori

    Iohannes Pecham (c. 1290). Quaestiones de natura lapsa: I, 21.

    1763

    Pity is not natural to Man. Children are always cruel. Savages are always cruel. Pity is aquired and improved by the cultivation of reason.

    Johnson, S. (1763). [Statement on July 20, 1763]. In.: Boswell, J. (1831). The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., vol. 1: 451.

    1788

    Tugend war also bei ihnen [d.i. den Anhängern des stoischen Systems] ein gewisser Heroism des über die thierische Natur des Menschen sich erhebenden Weisen

    Kant, I. (1788). Kritik der praktischen Vernunft (AA, vol. V, 1-163): 127.

    1790

    [Es] ist die Erhabenheit in keinem Dinge der Natur, sondern nur in unserm Gemüthe enthalten, sofern wir der Natur in uns und dadurch auch der Natur (sofern sie auf uns einfließt) außer uns, überlegen zu seyn uns bewußt werden können.

    Kant, I. (1790). Critik der Urtheilskraft: 108 (§28).

    1869

    C’est elle [scil. la nature] […] qui pousse l’homme à tuer son semblable, à le manger, à le séquestrer, à le torturer; car, sitôt que nous sortons de l’ordre des nécessités et des besoins pour entrer dans celui du luxe et des plaisirs, nous voyons que la nature ne peut conseiller que le crime. C’est cette infaillible nature qui a créé le parricide et l’anthropophagie, et mille autres abominations que la pudeur et la délicatesse nous empêchent de nommer. C’est la philosophie (je parle de la bonne), c’est la religion qui nous ordonne de nourrir des parents pauvres et infirmes. La nature (qui n’est pas autre chose que la voix de notre intérêt) nous commande de les assommer. Passez en revue, analysez tout ce qui est naturel, toutes les actions et les désirs du pur homme naturel, vous ne trouverez rien que d’affreux. Tout ce qui est beau et noble est le résultat de la raison et du calcul. Le crime, dont l’animal humain a puisé le goût dans le ventre de sa mère, est originellement naturel. La vertu, au contraire, est artificielle, surnaturelle, puisqu’il a fallu, dans tous les temps et chez toutes les nations, des dieux et des prophètes pour l’enseigner à l’humanité animalisée, et que l’homme, seul, eût été impuissant à la découvrir. Le mal se fait sans effort, naturellement, par fatalité; le bien est toujours le produit d’un art.

    Baudelaire, C. (1869). L’art romantique (Œuvres complètes, Paris 1885): 100.

    1874

    the doctrine that man ought to follow nature, or, in other words, ought to make the spontaneous course of things the model of his voluntary actions, is equally irrational and immoral. Irrational, because all human action whatever consists in altering, and all useful action in improving, the spontaneous course of nature. Immoral, because the course of natural phenomena being replete with everything which when committed by human beings is most worthy of abhorrence, any one who endeavoured in his actions to imitate the natural course of things would be universally seen and acknowledged to be the wickedest of men.

    Mill, S.J. (1874). Nature, the Utility of Religion and Theism: 64-5.

  • 5) The whole natural world, including human beings; the cosmos. (OED 2003)
    wholeness
    c. -250 (BC)

    in libro enim Περὶ προνοίας quarto εἱμαρμένην esse dicit φυσικήν τινα σύνταζιν τῶν ὅλων ἐξ ἀιδίου τῶν ἑτέρων τοῖς ἑτέροις ἐπακολουθούντων καὶ μεταπολουμένων ἀπαράβατου οὔσης τῆς τοιαύτης ἐπιπλοκῆς.
    [in the fourth book of his work On Providence, he [scil. Chrysippus] says that εἱμαρμένη is “an orderly series, established by nature, of all events, following one another and joined together from eternity, and their unalterable interdependence.”]

    Chrysippus (c. -250) (BC). [Fragment] (acc. to Gellius 7.2.3, ed. A.A. Long & D.N. Sedley, Hellenistic Philosophers, vol. 2, 1989): 55K (transl. J.C. Rolfe 1927).

    -45 (BC

    homines enim, etsi aliis multis, tamen hoc uno plurimum a bestiis differunt, quod rationem habent a natura datam mentemque acrem et vigentem celerrimeque multa simul agitantem et, ut ita dicam, sagacem, quae et causas rerum et consecutiones videat et similitudines transferat et disiuncta coniungat et cum praesentibus futura copulet omnemque complectatur vitae consequentis statum.
    [among the many points of difference between man and the lower animals, the greatest difference is that Nature has bestowed on man the gift of Reason, of an active, vigorous intelligence, able to carry on several operations at the same time with extreme speed, and having, so to speak, a keen scent to discern the causes and effects of things, to draw analogies, combine things separate, connect the future with the present, and survey the entire field of the subsequent course of life.]

    Cicero (-45) (BC). De finibus bonorum et malorum: II, 45 [transl. H. Rackham 1931].

    c. -44 (BC)

    Natura est igitur quae contineat mundum omnem eumque tueatur, et ea quidem non sine sensu atque ratione. […] Terrenorum item commodorum omnis est in homine dominatus: nos campis nos montibus fruimur, nostri sunt amnes nostri lacus, nos fruges serimus nos arbores; nos aquarum inductionibus terris fecunditatem damus, nos flumina arcemus derigimus avertimus; nostris denique manibus in rerum natura quasi alteram naturam efficere conamur.
    [So there is an element which holds together and protects the entire universe, an element moreover not devoid of sensation and reason. […] Total dominion over the produce of the earth lies in our hands. We put plains and mountains to good use; rivers and lakes belong to us; we sow cereals and plant trees; we irrigate our lands to fertilize them. We fortify river-banks, and straighten or divert the courses of rivers. In short, by the work of our hands we strive to create a sort of second nature within the world of nature.]

    Cicero (c. -44) (BC). De natura deorum: II, 29; 152 [transl. P.G. Walsh 1997].

    c. -44 (BC)

    Eademque natura vi rationis hominem conciliat homini et ad orationis et ad vitae societatem ingeneratque in primis praecipuum quendam amorem in eos, qui procreati sunt.
    [Nature likewise by the power of reason associates man with man in the common bonds of speech and life; she implants in him above all, I may say, a strangely tender love for his offspring.]

    Cicero (c. -44) (BC). De officiis:I, 12 [transl. W. Miller 1913].

    c. 60 AD

    Quid enim aliud est natura quam deus et divina ratio toti mundo partibusque eius inserta? […] nec natura sine deo est nec deus sine natura, sed idem est utrumque, distat officio.
    [What else is nature but god and the divine reason which permeates the whole world and all its parts? […] there is no nature without god, or god without nature: they are identical, though they differ in function.]

    Seneca (c. 60 AD). De beneficiis IV, 7; 8.

    79 AD

    mundum et hoc quodcumque nomine alio caelum appellare libuit, cuius circumflexu degunt cuncta, numen esse credi par est, aeternum, inmensum, neque genitum neque interiturum umquam. huius extera indagare nec interest hominum nec capit humanae coniectura mentis. sacer est, aeternus, immensus, totus in toto, immo vero ipse totum, infinitus ac finito similis, omnium rerum certus et similis incerto, extra intra cuncta conplexus in se, idemque rerum naturae opus et rerum ipsa natura.
    [The world, and whatever that be which we otherwise call the heavens, by the vault of which all things are enclosed, we must conceive to be a Deity, to be eternal, without bounds, neither created, nor subject, at any time, to destruction. To inquire what is beyond it is no concern of man, nor can the human mind form any conjecture respecting it. It is sacred, eternal, and without bounds, all in all; indeed including everything in itself; finite, yet like what is infinite; the most certain of all things, yet like what is uncertain, externally and internally embracing all things in itself; it is the work of nature, and itself constitutes nature.]

    Pliny (79 AD). Naturalis historia I, 1 [transl. H.T. Riley 1855].

    c. 400

    ἐγένετο οὖν τὸ συνδέον ἀμφοτέρας τὰς φύσεις ζῷον ὁ ἄνθρωπος
    [man was made a living creature such as should combine together the intelligible and phenomenal natures]

    Nemesios of Emesa (c. 400). Περὶ φύσιος ἀνθρώπου 44 [Engl. transl. W. Telfer 1955; Germ. transl. by E. Orth, Kaisersesch 1925: 9].

    1641

    per naturam enim, generaliter spectatam, nicil nun aliud quàm vel Deum, ipsum, vel rerum creatarum coordinationem a Deo institutam intelligo

    Descartes, R. (1641). Meditationes de prima philosophia (Adam, C. & Tannery, P. (eds.) Œuvres de Descartes, vol. VII, Paris 1896, 1-561): 80.

    1677

    It is an admirable evidence of the Divine Wisdom and Providence, that there is that sutable accommodation and adaptation of all things in Nature, both to their own convenience and exigence, and to the convenience, use, and exigence of one another; which evidenceth, i. That all things are made, governed, and disposed by a most intelligent, and wise, and powerful Being; That that governing Being is but one, and that all this accommodation, and adaptation, and mutual subservience of the things in Nature are the product of one most wise decree, counsel, and purpose of that one most wise, intelligent, and soveragin Being.

    Hale, M. (1677). The Primitive Origination of Mankind, Considered and Examined According to the Light of Nature: 1.

    1686

    I shall express what I called ‘general nature’ by ‘cosmical mechanism’ – that is, a comprisal of all the mechanical affections (figure, size, motion, etc.) that belong to the matter of the great system of the universe. And to denote the nature of this or that particular body, I shall style it the ‘private’, the ‘particular’, or (if you please) the ‘individual mechanism’ of that body, or, for brevity’s sake, barely the ‘mechanism’ of it – that is, the ‘essential modification’, if I may so speak, by which I mean the comprisal of all its mechanical affections convened in the particular body, considered as it is determinately placed in a world so constituted as ours is.

    Boyle, R. (1686). A free inquiry into the vulgarly received notion of nature (Cambridge 1996): 37.

    1783

    Natur ist das Dasein der Dinge, sofern es nach allgemeinen Gesetzen bestimmt ist.

    Kant, I. (1783). Prolegomena zu einer jeden künftigen Metaphysik, die als Wissenschaft wird auftreten können (AA, IV, 253-383): 294.

    1807

    [Es] verbreitet die Geographie der Pflanzen Licht über den Ursprung des Ackerbaues, dessen Objekte so verschieden sind als die Abstammung der Völker, als ihr Kunstfleiß, und das Klima, unter welchem sie wohnen. In das Gebiet dieser Wissenschaft gehören Betrachtungen über den Einfluß einer mehr oder weniger reitzenden Nahrung auf die Energie des Charakters, Betrachtungen über lange Seefahrten und Kriege, durch welche ferne Nationen vegetabilische Produkte sich zu verschaffen oder zu verbreiten suchen. So greifen die Pflanzen gleichsam in die moralische und politische Geschichte des Menschen ein: denn wenn Geschichte der Naturobjekte freilich nur als Naturbeschreibung gedacht werden kann; so nehmen dagegen, nach dem Ausspruche eines tiefsinnigen Denkers, selbst Naturveränderungen einen ächt historischen Charakter an, wenn sie Einfluß auf menschliche Begebenheiten haben.

    Humboldt, A. von (1807). Ideen zu einer Geographie der Pflanzen: 23-4.

    1862

    ‘Nature’ is being used in the narrow sense of physical nature […]. But these selves of ours do belong to ‘Nature’

    Anonymus (1862). Edinburgh Review Oct. 1862: 381 (acc. to OED).

    1873

    Holding nature to represent the whole cosmos, and to include both the physical and the spiritual.

    Dawson, J.W. (1873). The Story of Earth and Man: 343 (xiv) (acc. to OED).

    1989

    Unsere These lautet […], daß die Figur eines harmonischen Haushalts der Natur den Menschen, die das Projekt einer umfassenden Naturbeherrschung in Angriff nahmen, eine eminente Sicherheit verschaffte. Die Allmacht des Schöpfers einer gleichgewichtigen und stabilen Naturordnung garantierte, daß die natürlichen Rahmenbedingungen technisch-ökonomischen Handelns nicht grundsätzlich gefährdet werden konnten. Wenn das »Ganze« des Naturzusammenhangs in den Händen Gottes lag, so brauchte der Mensch sich nicht darum zu kümmern, auf welchen Wegen sich dieses »Ganze« jeweils stabilisierte. Der Bereich dessen, was von seinen Aktivitäten affiziert wurde, lag weit unterhalb der Schwelle des Ganzen. Die Natur war dem Zugriff und Eingriff, der Herrschaft, Ausbeutung und Umformung freigegeben, ohne daß man sich Sorgen darüber machen mußte, ob sich alle diese Effekte nicht zu unerfreulichen Gesamtwirkungen summierten. […] Die natürliche Teleologie mußte erst im Zentrum der Naturwissenschaft selbst zusammenbrechen, bevor die Möglichkeit einer totalen Naturkrise am Horizont erscheinen konnte. Dies geschah erst durch die Formulierung der Darwinschen Evolutionstheorie

    Sieferle, R.P. (1989). Die Krise der menschlichen Natur. Zur Geschichte eines Konzepts: 33; 34.

    2014

    In the “people and nature” view, the science has moved fully away from a focus on species and protected areas and into a shared human-nature environment, where the form, function, adaptability, and resilience provided by nature are valued most highly.

    Mace, G.M. (2014). Whose conservation? Changes in the perception and goals of nature conservation require a solid scientific basis. Science 345, 1558-1560: 1559.

  • 6) The (precious) physical world on earth uninfluenced by man that gradually disappears in the processes of human population growth and the utilization of all kinds of matter as resources by humans.
    1616

    So that this generall deluge was indeed the generall confusion of nature; and as it was the death of nature, so nature her selfe could neither hinder nor hasten her owne death; and being once fallen, she could not raise her selfe by her own naturall power […] if we should commit the like waste in our woods, as formerly we have done, in this last forpassed age; assuredly we should bee left to destitute of fuell, of houses, of shipping, that within a short time, our land would prove almost inhabitable, for such things as require a great growth, wherein man cannot see the present fruites of his providence; husbandrie and labour, for the most part, they are alwaies neglected, and it lies not in the power of one age to recover her selfe: thus out of the decay of nature we may almost expect a dissolution as by the signes and symptomes we iudge of a dangerous and desperate disease.

    Goodman, G. (1616). The Fall of Man or the Corruption of Nature: 281-2; 384.

    1841

    Nature was not so far removed or hard to get at, as in these days

    Dickens, C. (1841). Barnaby Rudge: 253 (iv) (acc. to OED).

    1845-46

    [Es] ist die […] der menschlichen Geschichte vorhergehende Natur ja nicht die Natur, in der Feuerbach lebt, nicht die Natur, die heutzutage, ausgenommen etwa auf einzelnen australischen Koralleninseln neueren Ursprungs, nirgends mehr existiert, also auch für Feuerbach nicht existiert.

    Marx, K. [1845-46]. Die deutsche Ideologie (MEW 3, 5-530): 44.

    1865

    [Es] sterben die Arten zu Hunderten, wenn auch zunächst bloss in localer Beschränkung. Mit ihnen schwindet die Poesie und Schönheit der naturwüchsigen Landschaft. An ihre Stelle tritt die Cultur, die Grundlage für Gesittung und geistige Bildung. Diese Veränderung der Natur in der Richtung des Nützlichen und Zweckmässigen erinnert an einen ähnlichen Umschwung im socialen Leben des Menschengeschlechtes. Beides vollzieht sich durch ein Naturgesetz.

    Nägeli, C. (1865). Entstehung und Begriff der naturhistorischen Art: 36.

    1868

    Die Naturwelt ist dem Menschen als Material anheimgegeben, dass er den Schöpfer nachahmend in ihr seine Ideen verkörpere. Das Weltall wird Kosmos, und der Mensch, die Welt im Kleinen, Mikrokosmos genannt. Das griechische Wort Kosmos wie das entsprechende lateinische Mundus hat aber eine doppelte Bedeutung; es bedeutet die gesammte Schöpfung, dann aber auch Schmuck und Zierde. Wie in Beziehung auf die erste Bedeutung der Mensch Mikrokosmos genannt wird, so kann man mit Beziehung auf die zweite Bedeutung sagen, der Mensch sei der Kosmos des Kosmos, wie denn der heil. Augustin das Menschengeschlecht den grössten Schmuck der Erde nennt [„decus ornamentumque terrarum“, Augustine, De libero arbitrio lib. III, c. 20, n. 55]. Schmuck der Erde ist der Mensch, indem er, das Ebenbild seines Schöpfers, in seinem Wirken auch seinem Schöpfer ähnlich sich bethätigend das Wahre erkennt, das Gute vollbringt und das Schöne darstellt. Wir haben hier das Letzte im Auge zu behalten und sagen: Der Mensch ist der Schmuck und die Zierde der Erdenwelt, wenn er als Künstler das Schöne darstellt, wenn unter seiner Hand der Stein zum Tempel und zur lebenden Natur wird, wenn er die Farben zu beseelten Bildern eint, wenn er die Töne zum Ausdruck der Andacht und des heiligen Jubels macht.

    Gabler, J. (1868). Die katholische Kirchenmusik (Forts.). Zeitschrift für katholische Kirchenmusik 1, 89-94: 90.

    1886

    It seems quite probable that this Nineteenth century may be unpleasantly memorable in centuries to come as that in which many species of animate and inanimate nature became extinct. It has witnessed the extinction of the great auk, so utterly swept off the face of the earth that the skin, or even the egg, of one is a small fortune to the possessor, and it is almost as certain as death that in the less than a decade and a half that remain of it, the last wild bison will have disappeared. Reduced from the hundreds of thousands of twenty years ago to the single thousand or so of to-day, it needs not a third of the time to compass their complete annihilation. […] An old man may be glad that his eyes are not to behold the coming desolation, but he must be sad when he thinks of the poor inheritance of his children.

    [Robinson, R.E.] (1886). Century of Extermination. Forest and Stream 26, 282.

    1957

    So wie das Vorbild und das Leben der Tiere hat die Wildheit einer unberührten Natur durch Jahrtausende das Denken und Handeln der Menschen beeinflußt und ein natürliches Empfinden bewirkt. Aber die Unberührtheit der Natur schwindet mehr und mehr, auch vor ihr hat die Technik nicht haltgemacht.

    Findeisen, M. (1957). Europa stirbt und merkt es nicht: 177.

    1971

    Je mehr die unberührte Natur schwindet, desto kostbarer werden die hochwertigen Gebiete der Alpen, in denen man noch das Abenteuer finden kann, das Risiko eines Steiges abseits vom Alltagswege.

    Kolar, K. (1971). Im Schweizer Nationalpark. Alpenvereins-Jahrbuch 1971, 105-114: 105.

    1997

    Die Natur verschwindet aus unserer Welt, jeden Tag mehr. Tiere, Pflanzen, Landschaften, Gewässer – sie sterben aus oder sterben ab. Die Natur insgesamt wird untergehen. Und so kommt die Zeit, sich von ihr zu verabschieden. Der Niedergang der natürlichen Umwelt ist eine Tragödie. Aber wir Menschen können trotzdem weiterleben. Der Mensch hat nur zwei Möglichkeiten: Entweder er geht mit der Natur zugrunde, oder er koppelt sich von ihr ab

    Bohnke, B.-A. (1997). Abschied von der Natur. Die Zukunft des Lebens ist Technik: 7.

    2003

    for the first time human beings had become so large that they altered everything around us […] we had ended nature as an independent force, […] our appetites and habits and desires could now be read in every cubic meter of air, in every increment on the thermometer. […] We are no longer able to think of ourselves as a species tossed about by larger forces – now we are those larger forces. Hurricanes and thunderstorms and tornadoes become not acts of God but acts of man. That was what I meant by the ‘end of nature.’

    McKibben, B. (1989). The End of Nature (2003): xiii-xiv.

    2011

    Schlagt die Weltliteratur auf, wo ihr wollt, bis etwa zum Zweiten Weltkrieg, […] immer gibt es jenseits aller Menschendinge Gänge durch eine davon nicht berührte, mächtige, universale, unangefochtene Natur. Es gibt ein Land für die Seele. Immer. Es gibt eine Welt ohne uns, immer. Das gibt es nun nicht mehr. […] Es gibt keine Wiese und kein Rotkehlchen mehr, die von uns unberührt wären. […] Sie (Wiese, Rotkehlchen) sind […] neuerdings nur noch Existenzen von unseren (technischen) Gnaden. […] Selbst wenn ich ein Rotkehlchen sehe, [muss ich] die gesamte zivilisatorische Menschheit in diesem Rotkehlchen mitsehen […]. Es gibt nichts mehr ohne uns. Wir sind in allem.

    Maier, A. (2011). Natur war gestern. Die Zeit No. 13, 24 March 2011: 49.

  • 7) The countryside, i.e. an area of land which is used by humans less intense or more closely related to the fulfillment of basic needs of humans (such as the production of food) than other areas.
    landscape
    1856

    Zieh mit, zieh mit! So rief im Hain/ Das traute Frühlingsvögelein!/ Zieh mit hinaus in die Natur/ In Thal und Höh, in Feld und Flur/ – Zieh mit!

    B. v. S. (1856). Zieh mit! Die Natur. Zeitung zur Verbreitung naturwissenschaftlicher Kenntniß und Naturanschauung für Leser aller Stände 5(19), 152.

    1924

    Ich muß raus in die Natur, muß mich gesund schauen im lichten Weiß, muß mal die Brust wieder vollhaben von herrlichster reinster Winterluft, muß mich auslaufen, draußen in Gottes wundervoller weiter Natur.

    W-r. (1924). Angelfahrt im Januar, eine Plauderei. Allgemeine Fischerei-Zeitung 49, 10-14: 10.

    1928

    Wandern, Entdecken, Herauskommen-können aus der Umwelt, aus dem Heim ins „Draußen“, „raus in die Natur“, hat nun seinen letzten Grund in einer Doppelbestimmtheit der menschlichen Existenz: sie kann entweder zu tun haben mit der Umwelt, oder sie kann müßiggehen.

    Stern, G. (1928). Über das Haben. Sieben Kapitel zur Ontologie der Erkenntnis: 60.

    1995

    talk of the countryside and its ‘natural’ flora and fauna may be loose, but it still makes discriminations that we would want to observe between different types of space and human use of it. If ordinary discourse lacks rigour in referring to woodland or fields, the cattle grazing upon them, and so forth, as ‘nature’, it is still marking an important distinction between the urban and industrial environment. […] if nature is conceptualized and valued, as it sometimes in in environmental philosophy, as that which is independent of human culture, then rather little of the environment corresponds to the concept: hardly anything we refer to as natural landscape is natural in this sense, and its supposed value might therefore be seen to be put in question.

    Soper, K. (1995). What is Nature? Culture, Politics and the Non-Human: 20; 152.

    1996

    The imagined purity of wilderness is less significant in European conservation, where the valued baseline tends more toward the premodern than the prehistoric. Here, Nature is located in a past countryside produced through various naturalized forms of low-intensity-agriculture.

    Lorimer, J. (2015). Wildlife in the Anthropocene. Conservation after Nature: 22. 

  • 8) One of the two opposing poles in the fundamental (and harmful) metaphysical construction of reality in Western Culture.
    anthropocene
    1844

    Dieser Kommunismus ist als vollendeter Naturalismus = Humanismus, als vollendeter Humanismus = Naturalismus; er ist die wahrhafte Auflösung des Widerstreits zwischen dem Menschen mit der Natur und mit dem Menschen […] Erst hier ist ihm sein natürliches Dasein sein menschliches Dasein und die Natur für ihn zum Menschen geworden. Also die Gesellschaft ist die vollendete Wesenseinheit des Menschen mit der Natur, die wahre Resurrektion der Natur, der durchgeführte Naturalismus des Menschen und der durchgeführte Humanismus der Natur.

    Marx, K. (1844). Ökonomisch-philosophische Manuskripte aus dem Jahre 1844 (MEW 40, 465-590): 536; 538.

    1991

    Nature and Society are not two distinct poles, but one and the same production of successive states of societies-natures, of collectives.

    Latour, B. (1991). Nous n’avons jamais été modernes. Essai d’anthropologie symétrique (We Have Never Been Modern, transl. by C. Porter, 1993): 139.

    1999

    political ecology, at least in its theories, has to let go of nature. Indeed, nature is the chief obstacle that has always hampered the development of public discourse. […] As soon as we add to dinosaurs their paleontologists, to particles their accelerators, to ecosystems their monitoring instruments, to energy systems their standards and the hypothesis on the basis of which calculations are made, to the ozone holes their meteorologists and their chemists, we have already ceased entirely to speak of nature; instead, we are speaking of what is produced, constructed, decided, defined, in a learned City whose ecology is almost as complex as that of the world it is coming to know

    Latour, B. (1999). Politics of Nature. How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy: 9; 35.

    2007

    Strange as it may sound, the idea of nature is getting in the way of properly ecological forms of culture, philosophy, politics, and art. […] there is no nature. There is no gap between the human and the nonhuman realms. The Apache view is much closer to ecology without nature than conventional ecocriticism.

    Morton, T. (2007). Ecology Withour Nature: 1; 180.

    2010

    Regarding the decision of whether to intervene, the concept of naturalness is not helpful. […] Because naturalness implies both a lack of human impact and a lack of human control, one of the meanings of naturalness will be violated whatever is done (or not done). […] just leaving nature alone will not be adequate to conserve biodiversity and many of the other values we associate with protected areas.

    Cole, D. & Yung, L. (2010). Beyond Naturalness: 8.

    2017

    Ecology clearly is not the irruption of nature into the public space but the end of “nature” as a concept that would allow us to sum up our relations to the world and pacify them. What makes us ill, justifiably, is the sense that that Old Regime is coming to an end. The concept of “nature” now appears as a truncated, simplified, exaggeratedly moralistic, excessively polemical, and prematurely political version of the otherness of the world to which we must open ourselves if we are not to become collectively mad – alienated, let us say. To sum it up rather too quickly: for Westerners and those who have imitated them, “nature” has made the world uninhabitable.

    Latour, B. (2017). Facing Gaia. Eight Lectures on the New Climate Regime: 36.

  • 9) A social construct mirroring society in the outer world which has historically variable meaning.
    1994

    we historians can explain the modern tendency to turn nature into a mirror of our society, reflecting back the chaotic energies of capital and technology. […] Fortified by the principle of historicism, we can also approach recent ecological models that emphasize disturbance with a sense of freedom and independence. If they are not the mere reflection of global capitalism and its ideology, they are nonetheless highly compatible with that force dominating the earth. The newest ecology, with its emphasis on competition and disturbance, is clearly another manifestation of what Frederic Jameson has called the “logic of late capitalism.”

    Worster, D. (1994). Nature and the disorder of history. Environmental History Review 18, 1-15: 10-1.

    2015

    If a fixed Nature is required for authoritarian modes of conservation premised on centralized state power, so a fluid, individualistic, and fungible nature is necessary for neoliberalism.

    Lorimer, J. (2015). Wildlife in the Anthropocene. Conservation after Nature: 191.

  • 10) A traditional concept with contradictory implications that therefore does not provide any guidance for conservation efforts.
    2010

    Respect for nature’s autonomy can conflict with the active efforts to reverse some of the deleterious effects of human activity on park and wilderness ecosystems. Managing for “naturalness” clearly does not help to resolve any of these conflicts. […] we assert that it is time to rethink naturalness, lest the unexamined, mythical, diverse, and conflicting meanings of the term prevent realization of many important purposes and values of parks and wilderness. In particular, it is time to articulate goals and objectives for parks and wilderness that are founded in a perspective that views humans as part of, rather than apart from, nature. […] The goals that guided the conservation and restoration of large protected areas in the twentieth century – most notably the concept of naturalness – do not provide sufficient guidance for future park and wilderness stewardship.

    Aplet, G. & Cole, D. (2010). The trouble with naturalness. In: Beyond Naturalness. Rethinking Park and Wilderness Stewardship in an Era of Rapid Change, 12-30: 25; 26.

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