PHI 153 The Book of Nature
Is nature good, or is it indifferent to our well-being? Should we admire nature for its beauty and bounty, or should we master and transform it to serve our desires? Philosophy began with the discovery of nature, and modern natural science now enjoys unparalleled authority and power in the world. This course examines the modern understanding of nature as mathematical and lawful in relation to two older views it displaced: (1) Aristotle’s natural kinds and their intrinsic causes; (2) nature as created by
God. All living beings depend upon the order of nature, but only human beings try to understand it. Philosophical investigation of nature presupposes inquiry into human nature. Authors treated include Aristotle, Descartes, and Max Weber.
Prerequisite: PHI 100. Staff/Three credits.