Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Nature - Stoic Terminology
Needleman and Piazza use the English word "nature" where Marcus Aurelius uses the Greek phusis (and where, undoubtedly, Stoic authors in Latin would have used natura). They note that the multiple senses of the English word can mislead us: "Nature as in 'the beauty of nature,' meaning the outdoors, and nature as in 'it is his nature to do that' or 'he's a natural.' The former notion gets its name from being a product of the latter, which also refers to the innermost being of a thing, or 'what it is,' and also its function. Nature with a capital N is the force behind all things that grow, and this is apparent from the origin of the Greek verb phuein, which means 'to grow.' It is also referred to by Marcus as Universal Nature."