Philosophia Naturalis Renovata: Natural Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century

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Bruce MacLennan

Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy

Keywords: natural philosophy; philosophy of science; Jungian psychology; depth psychology; analytical psychology; phenomenological psychology; evolutionary psychology; active imagination; Aristotle’s four causes; aesthetics in science; philosophy as a way of life

A revitalized practice of natural philosophy can help people to live a better life and promote a flourishing ecosystem. Such a philosophy is natural in two senses. First, it is natural by seeking to understand the whole of nature, including mental phenomena, In particular, a comprehensive natural philosophy should address the phenomena of sentience by embracing first- and second-person methods of investigation. Moreover, to expand our understanding of the world, natural philosophy should embrace a full panoply of explanations, similar to Aristotle’s four causes. Second, such a philosophy is natural by being grounded in human nature, taking full account of human capacities and limitations. Future natural philosophers should also make use of all human capacities, including emotion and intuition as well as reason and perception, to investigate nature. Finally, since the majority of our brain's activities are unconscious, natural philosophy should explore the unconscious mind with the aim of deepening our relation to the rest of nature and enhancing well-being.

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