Natural Philosophy

Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature (from Latin philosophia naturalis) was the study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science. It is considered to be the precursor of natural sciences such as physics.

Forms of science historically developed out of philosophy or, more specifically, natural philosophy. At older universities, long-established Chairs of Natural Philosophy are nowadays occupied mainly by physics professors. Modern notions of science and scientists date only to the 19th century. The naturalist-theologian William Whewell was the one who coined the term "scientist". The Oxford English Dictionary dates the origin of the word to 1834. Before then, the word "science" simply meant knowledge and the label of scientist did not exist. Some examples of the term's usage are Isaac Newton's 1687 scientific treatise is known as The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy and Lord Kelvin and Peter Guthrie Tait's 1867 treatise called Treatise on Natural Philosophy which helped define much of modern physics.

Read more about Natural Philosophy:  Origin and Evolution of The Term, Scope of Natural Philosophy, Branches and Subject Matter of Natural Philosophy, History of Natural Philosophy, Current Work in Natural Philosophy

Famous quotes containing the words natural and/or philosophy:

    It has no share in the leadership of thought: it does not even reflect its current. It does not create beauty: it apes fashion. It does not produce personal skill: our actors and actresses, with the exception of a few persons with natural gifts and graces, mostly miscultivated or half-cultivated, are simply the middle-class section of the residuum.
    George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)

    If you look at history you’ll find that no state has been so plagued by its rulers as when power has fallen into the hands of some dabbler in philosophy or literary addict.
    Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466–1536)