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Nature and Natural Kinds

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2007

Guy Robinson
Dalkey, Ireland


The paper examines the character and historical source of the mystifications of the notions of Nature and Natural Kinds in the misguided attempt to turn Nature into a secular substitute for the role played by God in the previous theological framework of thought in order to turn it into a secular one in the period of the rise of science and scientific understanding. The role and function nature was given in this would-be replacement framework turned it into a quasi-deity governing the world from outside and generated the mechanical world-view in which humans were mere cogs.

Against this is set Aristotle's conception of Nature and the Natural as simply ‘what happens by and large and for the most part’—a description and not an explanation.

Research Article
Copyright © The Royal Institute of Philosophy 2007

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