Natura Naturans vs Natura Naturata

Natura naturans is a Latin tag coined during the Middle Ages, meaning “Nature naturing”, or more loosely, “nature doing what nature does”. The Latin, naturans, is the present active participle of naturo, indicated by the suffix “-ans” which is akin to the English suffix “-ing.” naturata, is the perfect passive participle. These terms are most commonly associated with the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza. For Spinoza, natura naturans refers to the self-causing activity of nature, while natura naturata, meaning “nature natured”, refers to nature considered as a passive product of an infinite causal chain. Samuel Taylor Coleridge defined it as “Nature in the active sense” as opposed to natura naturata

Spinoza's house in Rijnsburg from 1661-3, now ...

Spinoza’s house in Rijnsburg from 1661-3, now a museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Natura naturata is a Latin term coined in the Middle Ages, mainly used by Baruch Spinoza meaning “Nature natured”, or “Nature already created”. The term adds the suffix for the Latin feminine past participle (-ata) to the verb naturo, to create “natured“. The term describes a passive God, or more specifically, the passivity of God (Substance) when it is predicated into modes, and is contrasted with the second part of Spinoza’s dichotomy, Natura naturans, meaning “nature naturing, or “nature in the active sense”. To Spinoza, Nature and God were the same. (See: Spinoza’s God and Nature.)