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Defining nature and our relationship to nature Definition Essay

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Updated: Dec 28th, 2019


Nature describes natural things as well as its relation to the causes of laws of nature. Wide ranges of views have been postulated to understand the impact and meaning of nature. The theme aimed at understanding significance of nature as well as its meaning has traversed centuries in the fields of theology, science, epistemology and metaphysics.

Moreover, the need to understand nature has brought about major debates in the field of philosophy. This paper will try to explore and define nature. The paper will also examine our relation to nature (Oelschlaeger, 1991).


Nature refers to the things, which are natural. Additionally, it refers to the laws of nature. In the ancient Greek, the term nature was utilized to refer to natural growth of plants. However, in philosophical terms, nature refers to the ways in which things happen naturally, that is, things happen by themselves. Additionally, human nature refers to an individual’s natural self. That individual is influenced entirely by genetic inheritance.

In this regard, those who argue for nature believe that everything that occurs in human being is inborn. In this regard, the theory posts that every mannerism, whether monstrous or good is acquired naturally. This has posted several arguments as other theorists think otherwise.

It can be observed that nature encompasses everything that grows naturally. In essence, understanding nature tries to explore origin of both plants and animals. Humans are therefore closely tied to nature in many ways namely growth and origin, among others (Callicott & Roger,1989).

According to nature belief, human beings are controlled by their inborn contributions. Nature, therefore, emphasizes that fact that people reflect only their biological factors throughout their lives. This belief has brought about numerous debates. These included debates on nature versus nature, the role of nature in human growth, among others.

However, on my part, I believe that the environment as well as nature has a role in human development. Nature exposes the natural, which we have less control over while the environment presents a sphere in which we can control. For instance, some behaviors are inborn while others are acquired through interaction with the environment.

Nonetheless, nature plays an important role in our lives because it explains our natural self. To this extent, nature can be defines as a term that defines laws of nature as well as the causes of laws of nature. From this definition, it is observable that we rely on nature to define ourselves (Gruen, Jamieson & Schlottmann, 2012).

Our relation to Nature

The world we live in today is composed of mass tourism and virtual reality. Most people have been made to think and believe that they can live their lives as they want. In this regard, they have forgotten that a hidden force controls their lives. A number of cultural traditions have been utilized to define people’s origin as well as their reason for existence.

In the process, there has been an ecological crisis since people tend to forget the influence of nature on them. Our relation to nature has been affected by diverse cultural beliefs brought about by dominant traditions. Some theorists have also postulated that philosophies and religions were created to rationalize our actions concerning politics and economics.

In essence, theories such as Oelschlaeger, among others, argue that religion and history have been forefront in making people believe in virtual reality. Nonetheless, Oelschlaeger believes that ecological factors are influential in humans (Gruen, Jamieson & Schlottmann, 2012).

There has been mixed reaction on the need to card for our environment. While some theorists think that conserving nature is voluntary, others think that it is compulsory since nature has its direct influence on how we live, grow and survive on earth. For instance, it has been suggested that every generation has its characteristics from the kind of environment they live in.

For instance, humans have been observed to become shorter and shorter as generations come and go. Additionally, humans have been observed to become smarter and smarter as new technologies emerge. In essence, obvious changes are noticed in every generation hat comes by. Additionally, these changes are closely linked to the environment in which the generation lives.

However, historically myths have also come up to explain various changes in human life. Additionally, they have been utilized to explain origin of man. The relationship between nature and humans has also brought about big debates. For instance, Aristotle believed that plants exist to support animals while animals exist to support humans (Gruen, Jamieson & Schlottmann, 2012).

This view considered humans as the pinnacle of nature. Moreover, Western legal and political thought has fronted for this argument in their arguments for nature. However, this argument was dismissed by Charles Darwin in the 19th century when he showed the essence of biological processes in bring life.

He postulated that these biological processes, which operated over a given geological time, produced life as well as life, which had previously seemed miraculous. In this regard, Darwin put aside the view drawn from Judeo-Christian religion, which argued that God made man the pinnacle of nature. Moreover, Darwin dismissed the fact that God created an immutable species in a hierarchical order, which placed humans at the top.

In essence, Darwin argued that life was continuous. Another theorist who mocked the ideas that nature is in place to serve humans was John Muir, an environmentalist. According to Muir, there would be no poisonous animals like mosquitoes as well as poisonous plants if God had made nature to serve us (Gruen, Jamieson & Schlottmann, 2012).

Another theorist, Leopold, explored values of nature and argued that relationship between man and nature is ethical. He envisioned a world in which people will increase in morality to consider themselves citizens of land community as opposed to being conquerors of land. In essence, he argued that people would start appreciating nature and consider its value to them, which would inherently lead to conservation of nature.

Leopold’s philosophy is in the process of utilization since nowadays people have resorted to moral views of nature. However, it should be noted that focus on nature and its conservation has been mainly because of global warming which has caused severe damages to human life.

In essence, Leopold’s philosophy has just been fulfilled in part as a larger part of the population still stick to other variant views (Gruen, Jamieson & Schlottmann, 2012).


Most theorists define nature as things that come to being by them as well as govern themselves by laws of nature. In this regard, most theorists like Leopold and Muir consider nature important in life. There are two main arguments in exploring the relationship between humans and nature. One argument states that God made humans the pinnacle of nature.

The other argument tries to postulate that humans and nature are equally served in a continual life series. Moreover, Leopold argues that there would come a time when people will realize the essence of nature to appreciate its benefits. On my part, I support the fact that God created man and made him the pinnacle of nature.

I draw this fact from religious circle which states that we were made by God’s very own hands in a in his own likeness. Moreover, God gave us dominion over every other thing created by a word of mouth. In essence, even through creation, we were made more important than plants and animals.

However, this does not give us the right to dominate and hence destroy nature. In fact, God brought us to be good stewards in caring for nature (Gruen, Jamieson & Schlottmann, 2012).


Nature defines the existence of plants, humans and animals. Humans are closely linked to nature. Theorists such as Darwin, Muir and Leopold, among others, argue against human dominion over nature. However, I support the belief that humans were created superior at the beginning by God.


Callicott, B. & Roger, A. (1989). Nature in Asian Traditions and thought: Essays in Environmental philosophy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Gruen, L., Jamieson, D., & Schlottmann, C. (2012). Reflecting on Nature: Readings in Environmental Ethics and Philosophy (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Oelschlaeger, M. (1991). The idea of Wilderness prehistory to the age of ecology. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

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