Outside Our City

November 20th, 2006
Motion
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Photo shoot from collaboration with Piyada Vachanaratana. Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical universe, material world or material universe. “Nature” refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. Manufactured objects and human interaction are not considered part of nature unless qualified in ways such as “human nature” or “the whole of nature”. Nature is generally distinguished from the supernatural. It ranges in scale from the subatomic to the galactic.

The word nature is derived from the Latin word natura, or “the course of things, natural character.” 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. This is shown in the first written use of the word φύσις, in connection with a plant. 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.