Undoubtedly, nature has always attracted the attention of scientists and philosophers as the loci of the genesis and growth of natural existents and its current. Scientists working in the field of empirical sciences mainly seek the knowledge of natural existents and law More
Undoubtedly, nature has always attracted the attention of scientists and philosophers as the loci of the genesis and growth of natural existents and its current. Scientists working in the field of empirical sciences mainly seek the knowledge of natural existents and laws of nature, while philosophers basically deal with the knowledge of nature itself and its structure and try to provide an answer to the questions of what the meaning of nature is, what its structure is, what relationship exists between existents and nature, whether nature is the primary source of the appearance of existents in the world, and whether nature, as matter and form, is a cradle for the appearance of various forms of existents. Greek philosophers and, later, Muslim philosophers have provided various responses to these questions. In ancient Greek philosophy, physis or nature means growth, living, and life. This meaning, which had provided the basis for pre-Socratic philosophy, changed into the “content of the world” and “maker of things” in Stoic philosophy. Plato also defined physis as the origin of the appearance of all things. He used the words technē (art) and archē (origin) to explain the emergence of the world and considered the creation of the world as an artistic innovation. Aristotle, who viewed the world synonymous with the whole nature, believed that nature is the source of motion and change in things; however, Muslim thinkers have provided various ideas about nature. Ikhwān al-Ṣafā maintained that nature is the fifth level of the levels of being and the “active” aspect of the world, with matter as its passive aspect. Ibn Sīnā considered nature and the interactions therein as God’s act and believed that nature is the cause of the appearance of corporeal substance by synthesizing matter and form. Unlike the Peripatetics, who believed that archetypes are the same as the nature of things, Suhrawardī rejected archetypes and replaced them with luminary nature. Finally, Mullā Ṣadrā viewed the world of nature identical with renewal and change and maintained that the nature of substance enjoys permanent motion and flow.