Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. It ranges in scale from the subatomic to the cosmic.
The word nature is derived from the Latin word natura, or "essential qualities, innate disposition", and in ancient times, literally meant "birth". Natura was a Latin translation of the Greek word physis (φύσις), which originally related to the intrinsic characteristics that plants, animals, and other features of the world develop of their own accord. The concept of nature as a whole, the physical universe, is one of several expansions of the original notion; it began with certain core applications of the word φύσις by pre-Socratic philosophers, and has steadily gained currency ever since. This usage was confirmed during the advent of modern scientific method in the last several centuries.
Within the various uses of the word today, "nature" often refers to geology and wildlife. Nature may refer to the general realm of various types of living plants and animals, and in some cases to the processes associated with inanimate objects – the way that particular types of things exist and change of their own accord, such as the weather and geology of the Earth, and the matter and energy of which all these things are composed. It is often taken to mean the "natural environment" or wilderness–wild animals, rocks, forest, beaches, and in general those things that have not been substantially altered by human intervention, or which persist despite human intervention. For example, manufactured objects and human interaction generally are not considered part of nature, unless qualified as, for example, "human nature" or "the whole of nature". This more traditional concept of natural things which can still be found today implies a distinction between the natural and the artificial, with the artificial being understood as that which has been brought into being by a human consciousness or a human mind. Depending on the particular context, the term "natural" might also be distinguished from the unnatural, the supernatural, or synthetic.
It is capitalized when used as a proper noun, as in 'the nature of Nature'.
Other articles related to "nature":
... The Stoics held that no one was a slave by nature slavery was an external condition juxtaposed to the internal freedom of the soul (sui juris) ... cannot be better exemplified than with regard to the theory of the equality of human nature." Charles H ... that right is based, not upon's opinions, but upon Nature." ...
... There are es 26 nature reserves in the county of Soltau-Fallingbostel ... The largest one (Lüneburg Heath Nature Reserve) has an area of 13,222 ha in the territory of the county of Soltau-Fallingbostel, the smallest (Söhlbruch) has ... See also Nature reserves in Lower Saxony ...
... The north-eastern part of former Riga District is covered by the largest deciduous forests in Latvia ... The Gauja National Park is part of these forests and has more than 900 kinds of plants, 48 species of mammals and 149 species of birds ...
... for natural sciences and 'biological service', The Nature Conservancy (1949–1973), and allowed for the legal protection of National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) ... He replaced Captain Cyril Diver as Director General of The Nature Conservancy in 1952 and served until 1966, just after the Conservancy lost its independent status ... Fund (WWF) (now the World Wide Fund for Nature) ...
... Outer space is certainly spacious, but it is far from empty ... Outer space is sparsely filled with several dozen types of organic molecules discovered to date by microwave spectroscopy, blackbody radiation left over from the big bang and the origin of the universe, and cosmic rays, which include ionized atomic nuclei and various subatomic particles ...
Famous quotes containing the word nature:
“The moral virtues, then, are produced in us neither by nature nor against nature. Nature, indeed, prepares in us the ground for their reception, but their complete formation is the product of habit.”
—Aristotle (384322 B.C.)
“There have been heroes for whom this world seemed expressly prepared, as if creation had at last succeeded; whose daily life was the stuff of which our dreams are made, and whose presence enhanced the beauty and ampleness of Nature herself.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“But oh! each visitation
Suspends what nature gave me any my birth,
My shaping spirit of Imagination.”
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (17721834)