Identify the term "Natural Philosophy", and explain its historical significance. (Who,what,when,where, and why is it important?) 

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juneamy007 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Greek philosopher and scientist, Aristotle, is generally acknowledged to be the originator of natural philosophy. He was born in 384 BC  in Stagira, Chalcidice, a Macedonian city on the northern edge of Classical Greece. He died in 322 BC. Having been a student of Plato, he endeavored to refine the realm of natural philosophy. It would be simplistic to say that natural philosophy is the study of the philosophy of nature, that does not truly answer what it is. It is a form of reasoning that seeks to explain the circle of nature as it transits and moves. It is important because it answers the question of “Why?".

Natural philosophy assigns a purpose to each being and explains each change that is encountered and caused by that being.

  • Basic being - what substance, or essence, one is made of affects one's effect
  • Structural being - how one's substance is arranged, or develops affects one's effect
  • Creative being - the force(s) that brought the being into existence
  • Final being - the reason one came into existence  

The importance of this is to show the interaction and completeness of nature, with nothing left to randomness, and all areas of life being supportive of one another.