Sample Paper on The Philosophy of Nature

Sample Paper on The Philosophy of Nature


The world is full of a variety of complex basic questions and the field of philosophy has always endeavored to give answers that make the most sense. However, when it comes to one particular question; “What Does It Mean to Be Human”, even the best in the field remain inconclusive. According to Rorty (p.72), this question holds its significance in understanding nature and how the human species related or perceives it. The origins of man have always been presented by popular media through two schools of thought namely creation vs. evolution, where creation being religious while evolution being scientific. The philosophies that explain nature have ended up being explained in the same respect. According to Schelling (p.45) scientists, as well as religious experts, explain the phenomenon of nature in varied ways considering their dissimilar notion of life itself. Consequently, over the last centuries, the true ideal of nature remain inconclusively solved. It is through this unknown premise that this paper derives its thesis, in the process this study will aim to provide a comprehensive understanding the matter taking into account Lewis Thomas’s as well as Rachael Carson’s perceptions of the human species as well as nature.


The origin of man has always been an issue of discussion for a considerable amount of times with two schools of thoughts standing out namely; evolution and creationism. It is now almost a century and a half after Charles Darwin presented his on ‘The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’, yet there is still debate about his idea of life evolving from a cell. The critics of this philosophy who are predominantly theologically conservative Christians find it hard to accept life being centered from the changes of a cell in retrospect to its surrounding. To them life is a derivative of the workings of a supreme being, God to be more specific. The debate between these two factions has been raging for years and in the process, varied ideologies have been developed. One of the angles used to find more information that would settle the argument or in a way helping strengthen each argument the understanding of nature, that is represented by the question what it means to be human. The reason behind the understanding of the philosophy of nature is that it offers an all-encompassing historical refurbishment of the dissimilar phases of Western comprehension of the link between humans and nature. Consequently, it discusses normative inferences for the modern-day understanding of ourselves in relation to nature. According to Schelling and Keith ‘Knowledge as well as Reality’ (p.112) is a pre-requisite that aids in the basic understanding of key ontological plus metaphysical concepts for instance “essence,” “causation,” in addition to “teleology” that also play a prominent role in the philosophy of nature (p.114). With this in mind, it is clear that the creation as well as the ideals presented by scientists as well as religious believers form the best foundation to explain the philosophy of nature. Nonetheless, these ideologies vary significantly and may require significant analysis, below is a comparison analysis of the two using Lewis Thomas’s as well as Rachael Carson’s perceptions.


Lewis’ View of Nature

Man has always though himself as detached from nature. The prevailing perception is that man is complex and is above most aspects of nature a factor that has not worked to his satisfaction.  The above philosophy is a derivative of Lewis Thomas’s thinking of what it means to be human from the literature from his ‘The Lives of a Cell’ Manuscript. According to Lewis, being human is directly related to nature. He states that though man observed himself as a superior being there are a number of life forms within the body that he has no or very limited control over (Thomas and Tom, p.8 (heading 2).  The mitochondria, as well as other microorganisms, are the building blocks of man. Nonetheless, though man believes that he is supreme this is the same mechanisms shared by other creatures for instance plants. He explains that the chloroplast pigmentation is what allows plants to grow and the same should be considered when linking human life with Mitochondrial. Additionally, he explains that life is developed through a dancing matrix of microbes that are passed through one organism to another. In the process of moving from one host to another, the microbes imprint genomes that aid in evolution. Consequently, it can be argued by using the philosophy presented by Lewis that being human entails growth and evolution of cells.

Rachael Carson’s Perception of Nature

The idea of a fusion from the actions of a single cell as well as lightening is not acceptable to religious philosophers. Additionally, the idea of all life originating from the source mentioned above is an accepted. According to Rachael Carson, nature is all about the surrounding that is contrary to Lewis thinking. She states that nature is not determined by the life of cells but the powers held by the surrounding, in specific the land and the water Carson (p.4). In her explanation, it is evident that there is a cosmic force that maintains the balance of life as it is known today. The intricacy of nature cannot be explained by cells according to Carson. The balance between the seas and its creatures as well as how these lives affect the earth is more than what science can explain

Comparison between Lewis and Carson perceptions

From the texts presented by Lewis and Carson, it is evident that the two philosophies view nature as a phenomenon that is beyond the control of man. Additionally, they present notions that may be preserved to state that nature is dependent on varied organisms that exist in different environments. The transfer of cells from one environment to another determines evolution according to the Lewis. On the other hand, according to Carson, the creatures hosted by the two environments determine the balance of nature from land to sea. The relationships between different living organisms in different environment gives nature a balance that allows humans to exists as part of nature itself. It is such a platform that one may argue that both scientists, as well as their religious counterparts, believe that the human species or man is a part of nature on the same level. Man is one of the organisms that brings balance in nature.

Contrast between Lewis and Carson perceptions

The first contrast is determined by how these two philosophers think. According to Lewis cells are the foundation of life and consequently the foundation of nature as it is known today. On the other hand, with Carson this is not the case. The notion of balance is not based on the cells but the creatures that have always maintained the balance of the eco-system. Despite the fact that Carson’s perceptions might be as religious as those presented by Gretel Elrich it represents the faction of philosophy that does not believe that life was founded from a single cell. Elrisch is more particular on highlighting that there is a supreme God who maintained the balance of nature and not the creatures that live in the environment itself. From this notion, it is clear that the phenomenon of nature is divided into further subcategories.


The philosophies highlighting the origins of man and what it means being human have been determined significantly by two schools of thoughts. He first is that held by scientists that life is founded on the basis of the evolution of a single cell consequently nature us a resultant factor. As humans have mitochondria that aids in the conversion of food substances to energy, plants have chloroplast that turns sunlight into energy. These two microbes are cellular microbes that exist in two different life being but are obligated to do the same objective. It is from such a notion that Lewis states that nature is made up of the life of cells. The other philosophy is spiritual that states that there is a cosmic force that maintains the balance of nature. However, an in-depth analysis shows that there is a similar notion that ma I s part of nature and his undertakings help in nature finding a balance. On the other hand, the difference is that Lewis views humans as vessels that help the evolution of cells as Carson views humans as entities that are part of the surroundings that help define nature.


Works Cited

Carson, Rachel. “The Marginal World.” Literature Platinum (1850): 527-532.

Rorty, Richard. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2009. Print.

Schelling, Friedrich W. J, and Keith R. Peterson. First Outline of a System of the Philosophy of Nature. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2004. Print.

Schelling, Friedrich W. J. Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature As Introduction to the Study of This Science, 1797. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Print.

Thomas, Lewis, and Tom Parker. The lives of a cell. New York: Viking Books, 1974.