Nature and the natural

What is nature? What is it for something to be natural? We'll begin to address these questions by looking at a survey of a few common ways people have thought about nature and what is natural. Exploring these multifarious concepts leads, I think naturally, to the question of how these different conceptions of nature are related? Is there anything they all have in common? Is there really only one "nature"? Or do different senses of "nature" have genuinely distinct referents?

http://philosophy.about.com/od/Philosophical-Theories-Ideas/a/The-Idea-Of-Nature.htm

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  • Cyrell W.

    I saw this article today...66% of consumers wrongly think "natural" means something: http://www.wtsp.com/story/money/2014/06/22/consumers-natural-warning/11236929/. This was pretty apt considering our conversation about labeling.

    June 23

  • Su S

    Nice to meet everyone at Sunday's discussion. Rodrigo, thank you for leading and structuring the talk.
    There is another Meetup group that I thought might interest some of you -- it's called "Conversations in Humankind" -- they have a meeting next Monday. It's not exactly a Philosophy group but I think there are some touch points that people in this group would find interesting. Here is a link to their upcoming meeting: http://www.meetup.com/Conversations-on-Humankind/events/186831532/

    June 18

  • Rodrigo V.

    It's amazing how relevant our questions can be in every day life. Just today I saw this in an email around the office:

    "Almond extract actually has an interesting 'natural food dilemma' behind it:

    Primary 'flavorant'/aromatic of almond extract is benzaldehyde which comes from many sources.
    - It can be synthetically (but easily and safely) produced from toulene, which is primarily produced from crude oil.
    - It can also be extracted naturally from bitter almonds which has the unfortunate byproduct of cyanide and can still potentially be toxic in large doses. Sweet almonds are a poor source of benzaldehyde.

    That being said, I like to stick to whole almonds myself."

    Makes you wonder...

    June 17

  • Jon

    I think we came to some agreement about how to use these words clearly.

    June 15

  • Jeff G

    I feel bad missing this, since I introduced this topic. My 2c in absentia: all the oppositions in the about.com article amount to the same thing--self vs. nonself. And still that doesn't dictate which is "Nature" and which is not. Even though the label is a political prize (Bethany?), it can have positive or negative valence.

    June 14

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

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