natural philosophy

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natural philosophy ‎(uncountable)

  1. (historical) The objective study of nature in the widest sense; science, (later especially) physics. [from 14th c.]
    • 1687, Isaac Newton, (title):
      The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 772:
      The discipline which is the ancestor of modern specializations like astronomy, biology, physics and chemistry was then called natural philosophy.