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State of nature   /steɪt əv nˈeɪtʃər/   Listen
State of nature

noun
1.
A wild primitive state untouched by civilization.  Synonyms: natural state, wild.  "They collected mushrooms in the wild"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"State of nature" Quotes from Famous Books



... the greatest comforts and elegancies of life. To plants we owe timber, bread, beer, honey, wine, oil, linen, cotton, etc., what not only strengthens our hearts, and exhilarates our spirits, but what secures from inclemencies of weather and adorns our persons. Man, in his true state of nature, seems to be subsisted by spontaneous vegetation: in middle climes, where grasses prevail, he mixes some animal food with the produce of the field and garden: and it is towards the polar extremes only that, like his kindred bears and wolves, he gorges ...
— The Natural History of Selborne • Gilbert White

... faculties that render them superior to the brutes, without any political union, without any means of explaining their sentiments, and even without possessing any of the apprehensions and passions which the voice and the gesture are so well fitted to express. Others have made the state of nature to consist in perpetual wars kindled by competition for dominion and interest, where every individual had a separate quarrel with his kind, and where the presence of a fellow creature was the ...
— An Essay on the History of Civil Society, Eighth Edition • Adam Ferguson, L.L.D.

... from being the silly fowl which popular belief supposes him to be, even when tamed and subdued, and, in a state of nature, is one of the most wary of birds. The flock in question, flying in from the narrow, open channels of the Gulf, had seen the decoys, and heard the calls of Ben and Creamer, who had not yet completed their preparations. Swooping around the box ...
— Adrift in the Ice-Fields • Charles W. Hall

... predatory instincts, we may say, broadly speaking, that in a state of nature there would be two ways of acquiring riches—one by production, the other by robbery. Under our existing system, although what is recognized as robbery is forbidden, there are nevertheless many ways of becoming rich without contributing anything to the wealth of the community. Ownership of ...
— Political Ideals • Bertrand Russell

... Carthaginians had had frequent intercourse with these islands and a Port of the smaller of the two still bears a Punic name,[559] they had done little to civilise the native inhabitants. Perhaps the value attached to the military gifts of the islanders contributed to preserve them in a state of nature; for culture might have diminished that marvellous skill with the sling,[560] which was once at the service of the Carthaginian, and afterwards of the Roman, armies. But, in spite of their prowess, the Baliares were not a fierce people. ...
— A History of Rome, Vol 1 - During the late Republic and early Principate • A H.J. Greenidge

... seem to be the rule for many plants, when left to themselves in a state of nature. Confining to a permanent spot invites parasites and other enemies, and a depleted soil, while health and vigor are secured by frequent migrations. The more we study in detail the methods of plant dispersion, the more we shall come ...
— Seed Dispersal • William J. Beal

... chalk; but the process of manufacture requires care and thoroughness. The article supplied, when of the best quality, has great strength, and is quick setting, and is far better than what was manufactured from stones in which the ingredients existed in a state of nature. In England we slake our lime and make use of it while it is fresh; but it may interest you to know that the custom in Italy and parts of France is different. There it is customary to slake the lime long before it is ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 601, July 9, 1887 • Various

... lived to so great an age that it finally became so feeble it could not crack the seeds she gave it, when the other birds, its own progeny, it is true, fed it; and Darwin cites cases of blind birds, in a state of nature, being fed by their fellows. Probably it would be hasty to conclude that such acts show anything more than instinct. I should be slow to ascribe to the animals any notion of the uses of punishment as we practice ...
— Ways of Nature • John Burroughs

... close without a few words about the native children. Dirty, of course, they almost always are; children in a state of nature will always be dirty, and even those farthest removed from that state show a marked tendency to revert to it; but when one has become sufficiently used to their dirt to be able to ignore it, they are very attractive. Intolerance of dirt is largely an acquired habit anyway. In view of their ...
— Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled - A Narrative of Winter Travel in Interior Alaska • Hudson Stuck

... of breeding these worms is probably due to their formation. When in a state of nature they can by expansion and contraction of the body working upon the sides of their holes, push their horny jaws against the opposing mass of paper. But when freed from the restraint, which indeed to them is life, they CANNOT eat although surrounded with food, ...
— Enemies of Books • William Blades

... you can get out of him. Then starve him, harness him anyhow to a truck with a flat tray on it, and see him bowl from Whitechapel to Bayswater. There appears to be no particular private understanding between birds and donkeys, in a state of nature; but in the shy neighbourhood state you shall see them always in the same hands and always developing their very best energies for the very worst company. I have known a donkey—by sight; we were not on speaking ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... care about his power of learning artificial music? Even if he could be taught to perform like a maestro, this would not enhance his value as a minstrel of the woods. We are concerned with the birds only as they are in a state of nature. It is the simplicity of the songs of birds, as I have before remarked, that constitutes their principal charm; and were the Robins so changed in their nature as to relinquish their native notes, and sing only tunes hereafter, we should listen to ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 12, October, 1858 • Various

... play, and whose skin had converted itself into a sort of leather, impervious to every thing except lead and steel. In a moral point of view, these men may be considered a psychological curiosity: in the wild state of nature in which they live, their mental faculties frequently develop themselves in a most extraordinary manner; and in the conversation of some of them may be found proofs of a sagacity and largeness of views, of which the greatest philosophers ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 349, November, 1844 • Various

... of the children, on the top rail of a fence, holding tight on to the tall gate post, sat a little girl of perhaps thirteen years of age; darker than any of the others, and with a more decided woolliness in the hair; a pure unmitigated African. She was not so entirely in a state of nature as the rollers in the dust beneath her; but her only garment was a short woolen skirt, which was tied around her waist, and reached about to her knees. She seemed a dazed and stupid child, and as her head hung upon her breast, she looked ...
— Harriet, The Moses of Her People • Sarah H. Bradford

... flippant, hard, and misanthropic in the state of nature, softened wonderfully as he sat in the gloom of the tablecover, in silent possession of those ...
— New Faces • Myra Kelly

... the inexperienced reader to know that I had often before found myself in a similar state of nature, and in far more prominent situations. I had repeatedly found myself doing the block, or stalking down the aisle of a crowded church, mid nodings on, and had wakened up to find the unsubstantial pageant faded, and my own conspicuousness exchanged ...
— Such is Life • Joseph Furphy

... French ideas within. You are too young, doubtless, cavaliere, to have heard of the philosophers who are raising such a pother north of the Alps: a set of madmen that, because their birth doesn't give them the entree of Versailles, are preaching that men should return to a state of nature, great ladies suckle their young like animals, and the peasantry own their land like nobles. Luckily you'll hear little of this infectious talk in Turin: the King stamps out the philosophers like vermin or packs them off to splutter their heresies in Milan or Venice. But to a ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... of the rights of man and citizen, the sole metaphysical act of the Revolution to this time, had given it a social and universal signification. This declaration had been much jeered; it certainly contained some errors, and confused in terms the state of nature and the state of society; but it was, notwithstanding, the very essence of the ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... were largely in the ascendant—boys from ten to fifteen years of age swam like young Leanders, and sunned themselves on the bank, in the absence of towels, as the preparative to dressing, or smoked their pipes in a state of nature. It is only just to say that while I remained, I heard little if any language that could be called "foul." Very free and easy, of course, were the remarks, and largely illustrative of the vulgar tongue; not without a share of light chaff directed against ...
— Mystic London: - or, Phases of occult life in the metropolis • Charles Maurice Davies

... cricket in St. Thomas upon a very public and central piece of ground, and, at one time, everybody used to turn out and watch the matches; but now, owing to the barbarous reasons I have given you, cricket has fallen into disrepute. Of course, to see an eleven taking the field in a state of nature makes dead against civilisation and ...
— The Idler Magazine, Volume III, June 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... concealing thoughts which we do conceive, we begin to affect those which we do not: so early do we learn the two main tasks of life, To Suppress and To Feign, that our memory will not carry us beyond that period of artifice to a state of nature when the twin principles of veracity and belief were so strong as to lead the philosophers of a modern school into the error of terming them innate." [Reid: ...
— The Disowned, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... was used, to be fully prepared for a similar attack, by keeping the men well-armed on all occasions. Of the animals left at this island in the former voyages, many were thriving; and the gardens, though left in a state of nature, were found to contain cabbages, onions, leeks, radishes, mustard, and a few potatoes. The captain was enabled to add to both. At the solicitation of Omai, he received two New Zealand lads on board the Resolution, and by the 27th was ...
— Famous Islands and Memorable Voyages • Anonymous

... others we have an instance, in his ennobling by beauty and suppressing by moral influence the powerful impulse implanted in him by nature in the passion of love. Thus, when arrived at maturity, he recovers his childhood by an artificial process, he founds a state of nature in his ideas, not given him by any experience, but established by the necessary laws and conditions of his reason, and he attributes to this ideal condition an object, an aim, of which he was not cognisant ...
— Literary and Philosophical Essays • Various

... was about nine miles and through an intervale from half a mile to two miles in width. This valley was studded with huge trees at such a distance from each other that it might well be called a park, and when in a state of nature it must have been not only beautiful, but magnificent. The curse of civilization was upon it, however. For lumbering purposes a dam had then been built across the outlet of Indian Lake, and the intervale had been overflowed until all the trees were dead. The grass was rich and we were told that ...
— Reminiscences of Sixty Years in Public Affairs, Vol. 1 • George Boutwell

... 3: The good that is proportionate to the common state of nature is to be found in the majority; and is wanting in the minority. The good that exceeds the common state of nature is to be found in the minority, and is wanting in the majority. Thus it is clear that the majority of men have a sufficient knowledge for the guidance of life; ...
— Summa Theologica, Part I (Prima Pars) - From the Complete American Edition • Thomas Aquinas

... therefore purchased articles that even in England would be called woolly and comfortable. Later on, as he reclined upon his couch in a thrice-raised Turkish bath temperature, he lamented that he "could not catch cold" even in a state of nature or next to it. He no longer wondered at Sydney Smith's wish to sit in his bones, and thought that expression would have acquired additional force if the witty divine had added ...
— Khartoum Campaign, 1898 - or the Re-Conquest of the Soudan • Bennet Burleigh

... the sympathy with sentimentalism of which Rousseau was to be the great exponent. Goldsmith is beginning to denounce luxury—a characteristic mark of the sentimentalist—and his regret for the period when 'every rood of earth maintained its man' is one side of the aspiration for a return to the state of nature and simplicity of manners. The inimitable Vicar recalls Sir Roger de Coverley and the gentle and delicate touch of Addison. But the Vicar is beginning to take an interest in philanthropy. He is impressed by the evils of the old prison system ...
— English Literature and Society in the Eighteenth Century • Leslie Stephen

... bodily growth a man progresses in things pertaining to nature, wherefore he attains to the state of nature; especially since "what is according to nature is," in a way, "unchangeable" [*Ethic. v, 7], inasmuch as nature is determinate to one thing. In like manner by inward spiritual growth a man reaches the state of perfection ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... of the GOLDEN AGE, is in some respects, of a piece with the PHILOSOPHICAL fiction of the STATE OF NATURE; only that the former is represented as the most charming and most peaceable condition, which can possibly be imagined; whereas the latter is painted out as a state of mutual war and violence, attended ...
— An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals • David Hume

... subterranean part of the plant was found to weigh 106.8 grams (1611 grains), and the water secreted during the 48 hours weighed 11.9 grams (183 grains),—that is, one-ninth of the whole weight of the plant, excluding the flower-stems. We should remember that plants in a state of nature would probably secrete in 48 hours much more than the above large amount, for their roots would continue all the time absorbing sap from the plant on which they were parasitic. ...
— The Power of Movement in Plants • Charles Darwin

... seasons. In addition, however, to the economic use of the wilderness by preserving it for such purposes where it is unsuited for agricultural uses, it is wise here and there to keep selected portions of it—of course only those portions unfit for settlement—in a state of nature, not merely for the sake of preserving the forests and the water, but for the sake of preserving all its beauties and wonders unspoiled by greedy and shortsighted vandalism. These beauties and wonders include animate as well as inanimate objects. The wild ...
— American Big Game in Its Haunts • Various

... the North American Indian, who in his present savage state thinks it beneath the dignity of his independence to till the ground. What we value in property, and all those customs which separate us from them in a state of nature, they think lightly of, while they conclude that our crossing the seas to see their country is more the effect of poverty than of industry. To be a man, or what is synonymous with them, to be a great and distinguished ...
— The Substance of a Journal During a Residence at the Red River Colony, British North America • John West

... of an army should be so little understood. They are really children in the art of war, and I cannot say they do anything as it ought to be done, with the exception of running away, and assembling again in a state of nature. ...
— Maxims And Opinions Of Field-Marshal His Grace The Duke Of Wellington, Selected From His Writings And Speeches During A Public Life Of More Than Half A Century • Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

... could not have been at that time above fourteen years of age. The description of the swans, that follows, was taken from the daily opportunities I had of observing their habits, not as confined to the gentleman's park, but in a state of nature. There were two pairs of them that divided the lake of Esthwaite, and its in-and-out flowing streams, between them, never trespassing a single yard upon each other's separate domain. They were of the old magnificent species, bearing in beauty and majesty about the same relation to the ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth - Volume 1 of 8 • Edited by William Knight

... what light we receive from Nature to direct our Actions, and how far we are Naturally able to obey that Light; Men must be consider'd purely as in the state of Nature, viz. as having no extrinsick Law to direct them, but indu'd only with a faculty of comparing their distant Ideas by intermediate Ones, and Thence of deducing, or infering one thing from another; whereby our Knowledge immediately received from ...
— Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous or Christian life • Lady Damaris Masham

... holes;" but this is so because God first made the caverns in the rocks, and the foxes afterward chose them for their habitations. Every unit in the whole animate world, not only chooses the place of its abode, but also the modes and means of its subsistence. Even plants in a state of nature conform to this general law. Shall man, born to glorify God and enjoy him forever, be cut short in the free exercise of his will? I cannot believe it. But I do believe that the brightest saint in heaven is where he is because it was first his will ...
— Life and Labors of Elder John Kline, the Martyr Missionary - Collated from his Diary by Benjamin Funk • John Kline

... "the art of seeing nature," as Reynolds phrased it; and the following sentence makes clear what is meant, for he says of painting "perhaps it ought to be as far removed from the vulgar idea of imitation, as the refined, civilised state in which we live is removed from a gross state of nature";[77] and again: "If we suppose a view of nature, represented with all the truth of the camera obscura, and the same scene represented by a great artist, how little and how mean will the one appear in comparison of the other, where no superiority ...
— Albert Durer • T. Sturge Moore

... the experimental animals should be carefully examined, to avoid the risk of employing such as are already diseased: since it must be remembered that in a state of nature, as well as in captivity, the animals employed for laboratory inoculations are subject to infection by various animal and vegetable parasites, and in some instances such infection presents no symptoms which are obvious to the casual examination; the sex ...
— The Elements of Bacteriological Technique • John William Henry Eyre

... it that in the lower animals misery can result from two causes only—restraint and disease; consequently, that animals in a state of nature are not miserable. They are not hindered nor held back. Whether the animal is migrating, or burying himself in his hibernating nest or den; or flying from some rapacious enemy, which he may, or may not, be able to escape; or feeding, or sleeping, or ...
— Birds in Town and Village • W. H. Hudson

... If, in a state of nature, you find any two groups of living beings, which are separated one from the other by some constantly-recurring characteristic, I don't care how slight and trivial, so long as it is defined and constant, and does not depend on sexual peculiarities, then all naturalists agree in calling them ...
— Lectures and Essays • T.H. Huxley

... highest importance, but it is not the kind of work which, by itself, enables one to form a sound judgment on the questions involved in the action of the law of natural selection. These rest mainly on the external and vital relations of species to species in a state of nature—on what has been well termed by Semper the "physiology of organisms," rather than on the anatomy or ...
— Darwinism (1889) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... remarkably well in Queensland, and there is practically an unlimited area of country suitable for their culture, much of which is at present in a state of Nature. Only the more easily accessible lands have been worked and of these only the richest. Manuring is unknown in most parts, and as soon as the plantation shows signs of deterioration it is abandoned, and a fresh one planted out in new land, the land ...
— Fruits of Queensland • Albert Benson

... but a gracious soul that is reconciled With God in Christ, and hath the spirit of grace dwelling in it, may suppose itself a stranger yet unto this reconciliation, and void of the grace of God, and so be still in the state of nature. ...
— Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life • John Brown (of Wamphray)

... committing the blunder of supposing that every advance towards perfection only withdraws man further from his primitive and proper condition, Popanilla triumphantly demonstrated that no such order as that which they associated with the phrase "state of nature" ever existed. "Man", said he, "is called the masterpiece of nature; and man is also, as we all know, the most curious of machines. Now, a machine is a work of art; consequently the masterpiece of nature is the masterpiece of art. The object of all mechanism is the attainment of utility; ...
— English Satires • Various

... the want of settled principles respecting the rights and duties of nations and individuals in a state of war. These, he observed, must depend on the previous rights and duties of mankind, in a state of peace: this led him to the preliminary inquiry into their rights and duties in a state of nature. ...
— The Life of Hugo Grotius • Charles Butler

... and in very unenlightened conditions, before mythology had grown, a monotheism prevailed, which afterwards at various times was revived by reformers, is a belief that should have passed away when the delights of savage life and the praises of a state of nature ceased to be the themes of philosophers. We are speaking of a people little capable of abstraction. The exhibitions of force in nature seemed to them the manifestations of that mysterious power felt by their self-consciousness; ...
— The Myths of the New World - A Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America • Daniel G. Brinton

... do zoos produce any new knowledge about animal behavior. Such knowledge must be got, not from animals penned up and tortured, but from animals in a state of nature. A college professor studying the habits of the giraffe, for example, and confining his observations to specimens in zoos, would inevitably come to the conclusion that the giraffe is a sedentary and melancholy beast, standing immovable for hours at a time and employing an Italian ...
— Damn! - A Book of Calumny • Henry Louis Mencken

... Cape;" and (1818) Scott, 'Tapestr. Chamber,' "When I was in the Bush, as the Virginians call it"]. "Woodland, country more or less covered with natural wood applied to the uncleared or untitled districts in the British Colonies which are still in a state of nature, or largely so, even though not wooded; and by extension to the country as opposed to the ...
— A Dictionary of Austral English • Edward Morris

... condemned that you would condemn all my life's work, and that I confess made me a little low; but I could have borne it, for I have the conviction that I have honestly done my best. The discussion comes in at the end of the long chapter on variation in a state of nature, so that I have discussed, as far as I am able, what to call varieties. I will try to leave out all allusion to genera coming in and out in this part, till when I discuss the "Principle of Divergence," which, with "Natural Selection," is the keystone of my book; and ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... the power of the husband being so far from that of an absolute monarch, that the wife has in many cases a liberty to separate from him, where natural right, or their contract allows it; whether that contract be made by themselves in the state of nature, or by the customs or laws of the country they live in; and the children upon such separation fall to the father or mother's lot, as such contract does determine. Sec. 83. For all the ends of marriage being to be ...
— Two Treatises of Government • John Locke

... one can visit air-bath establishments or outdoor gymnasia or take the modern nude cure by which juvenile consumptives are sometimes treated (even in winter, after becoming gradually accustomed to the cold); but any one can spend at least a little time in a state of nature. Both at the time of rising in the morning and upon retiring at night, there are many things which are usually done while one's clothes are on which could be done just as well while they are off. Brushing the teeth, ...
— How to Live - Rules for Healthful Living Based on Modern Science • Irving Fisher and Eugene Fisk

... cane fields or climbing the coffee mountains. But they who urge this, lose sight of the fact that the negroes are considerably civilized, and that, like other civilized people, they will seek for more than supply for the necessities of the rudest state of nature. Their wants are already many, even in the degraded condition of slaves; is it probable that they will be satisfied with fewer of the comforts and luxuries of civilized life, when they are elevated to the sphere, and feel the self-respect ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... is a fighting animal and that war is natural, I reply,—Natural for savages rejoicing in the tattoo, natural for barbarians rejoicing in violence, but not natural for man in a true civilization, which I insist is the natural state to which he tends by a sure progression. The true state of Nature is not war, but peace. Not only every war, but every recognition of war as the mode of determining international differences, is evidence that we are yet barbarians,—and so also is every ambition for empire founded on force, and not ...
— The Duel Between France and Germany • Charles Sumner

... neglect and decay; the walks were overgrown, the terraces dilapidated, and the rose pleasaunce had degenerated into a tangled mass of bushes and briers. It seemed as though the whole domain were about to revert into its original state of nature; and every thing spoke either of the absence of a master, or else of something more important still—the ...
— The Cryptogram - A Novel • James De Mille

... are formed for that very end, that they might hope in the Lord; yea, the word and testament are given to them for this purpose (Psa 78:5-7). These are prisoners of hope all the time they are in the state of nature, even as the whole creation is subjected under hope, all the time of its bondage, by the sin and villainy of man; and unto them it shall be said, in the dispensation of the fullness of time, 'Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope' ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... troopers lay with their guns close at hand. Almost every day we met Indians, but none that appeared to be hostile. In this way we traveled to Fort Laramie. The country traversed was an unbroken wilderness, in a state of nature, but singularly beautiful as a landscape. It was an open prairie, traversed by what was called the North Platte River, with scarcely water enough in it to be called a creek, with rolling hills on either side, and above, a clear sky, and air pure and bracing. ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... time, exert your whole attention now in acquiring the ornamental parts of character. People know very little of the world, and talk nonsense, when they talk of plainness and solidity unadorned: they will do in nothing; mankind has been long out of a state of nature, and the golden age of native simplicity will never return. Whether for the better or the worse, no matter; but we are refined; and plain manners, plain dress, and plain diction, would as little do in life, as acorns, herbage, and the water of the neighboring ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... and mostly rudimentary placenta. I shall be most curious to hear whether the other pod produces a good lot of seed. He says he regrets that he did not test the ovules with chemical agents: does he mean tincture of iodine? He suggests that in a state of nature the viscid matter may come to the very surface of stigmatic chamber, and so pollen-masses need not be inserted. This is possible, but I should think improbable. Altogether the case is very odd, and I am very uneasy, for I cannot hope that A. Loddigesii ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II - Volume II (of II) • Charles Darwin

... railroad, and to depend for twenty days on the contents of our wagons; and as the country was very obscure, mostly in a state of nature, densely wooded, and with few roads, our movements were necessarily slow. We crossed the Etowah by several bridges and fords, and took as many roads as possible, keeping up communication by cross-roads, or by couriers through the woods. I personally joined General Thomas, ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... horror of impious Nature that first linked men together in the bonds of society. It is human society, in effect, the source of reflective consciousness and of the craving for immortality, that inaugurates the state of grace upon the state of Nature; and it is man who, by humanizing and spiritualizing Nature ...
— Tragic Sense Of Life • Miguel de Unamuno

... rather absurd, the free and easy way in which an instinct is often assumed, simply to fit behavior which needs to be explained—a money getting instinct, for example, or a teacher-hating instinct. Since money and teachers do not exist in a state of nature, there can be no instincts specifically related to them; and it is incumbent on the psychologist to show how such acquired tendencies are derived ...
— Psychology - A Study Of Mental Life • Robert S. Woodworth

... she attains the true dignity of her destiny in an equal subordination, and vindicates the benevolence of the Deity in her creation, by the increase of happiness she confers on her consort. This cannot be looked for in a state of nature.—E. ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14 • Robert Kerr

... sun from Gades five thousand miles, of each a thousand paces, as he relates, he fell in with sundry islands, and took possession of one of them, of greater circuit, he asserts, than the whole of Spain. Here he found a race of men living contented, in a state of nature, subsisting on fruits and vegetables, and bread formed from roots.... These people have kings, some greater than others, and they war occasionally among themselves, with bows and arrows, or lances sharpened and hardened in the fire. The desire of command ...
— The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Vol. II) • Washington Irving

... to consider that we see this country in the pure state of nature; the Industry of Man has had nothing to do with any part of it, and yet we find all such things as Nature hath bestowed upon it, in a flourishing state. In this Extensive Country, it can never be doubted, but what most ...
— The Life of Captain James Cook • Arthur Kitson

... crevice. Its nest, he says, is formed of moss at some height from the ground, supported on clusters of orchideous plants. Dr. Cantor, in his 'Catalogue of the Mammalia of the Malayan Peninsula,' writes as follows: "In a state of nature it lives singly or in pairs, fiercely attacking intruders of its own species. When several are confined together they fight each other, or jointly attack and destroy the weakest. The natural food is mixed insectivorous and frugivorous. In confinement, individuals may be fed exclusively ...
— Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon • Robert A. Sterndale

... is also known as Kaffa coffee, from one of the districts where it grows most abundantly in a state of nature. This coffee has a smaller bean and is less rich in aroma and flavor than the Harari; but the trees grow in such profusion that the possible supply, at the minimum of labor in gathering, is practically unlimited. It is said that in southwestern Abyssinia there are immense forests of ...
— All About Coffee • William H. Ukers

... and custom were most in accord with the philosopher's ideal society? In that transvaluation of old values effected by the intellectual revolution of the century, it was the fortune of America to emerge as a kind of concrete example of the imagined State of Nature. In contrast with Europe, so "artificial," so oppressed with defenseless tyrannies and useless inequalities, so encumbered with decayed superstitions and the debris of worn-out institutions, how superior was this new land of promise where the citizen was a free man, where the necessities of life ...
— Beginnings of the American People • Carl Lotus Becker

... of taste or classic elegance, they serve at least to unlock the treasures of native genius; they present us with frequent sallies of bold imagination, and constantly afford matter for philosophical reflection by showing the workings of the human mind in its almost original state of nature." ...
— The Influence of Old Norse Literature on English Literature • Conrad Hjalmar Nordby

... most natural, and the most consonant with individual liberty. In it no one transfers his natural right so absolutely that he has no further voice in affairs; he only hands it over to the majority of a society, whereof he is a unit. Thus all men remain, as they were in the state of Nature, equals. ...
— The Philosophy of Spinoza • Baruch de Spinoza

... What, then, becomes of Mr. Darwin's most famous work, which was written expressly to establish natural selection as the main means of organic modification? "The new factor which Mr. Romanes suggests," continues the Times, "is that at a certain stage of development of varieties in a state of nature a change takes place in their reproductive systems, rendering those which differ in some particulars mutually infertile, and thus the formation of new permanent species takes place without the swamping effect of free intercrossing. . . . How his theory can be properly termed one of selection ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... for his benefit. We must not here put the value upon a finished education which we used to do. Let us give him every advantage which the peculiarity of his position will allow us to do; but we are now in the woods, to a certain degree returned to a state of nature, and the first and most important knowledge is to learn to gain ...
— The Settlers in Canada • Frederick Marryat

... before the human race is a constant struggle to maintain and improve, in opposition to the State of Nature, the State of Art of an organized polity; in which, and by which, man may develop a worthy civilization, capable of maintaining and constantly improving itself, until the evolution of our globe shall have entered so far upon its downward course that the cosmic process resumes ...
— The Approach to Philosophy • Ralph Barton Perry

... it from the parental government and from our ancestors. I wish every slave in the United States was in the country of his ancestors. But here they are, and the question is, How can they be best dealt with? If a state of nature existed, and we were about to lay the foundations of society, no man would be more strongly opposed than I should be to incorporate the institution of slavery ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... common antitype, the analogy which existed between the two groups becomes an affinity. We are also made aware of the difficulty of arriving at a true classification, even in a small and perfect group;—in the actual state of nature it is almost impossible, the species being so numerous and the modifications of form and structure so varied, arising probably from the immense number of species which have served as antitypes for the existing species, and ...
— Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection - A Series of Essays • Alfred Russel Wallace

... remark,' continued Goethe, 'how large a portion of the life of a rich Englishman of rank is passed in duels and elopements. Lord Byron himself says, that his father carried off three ladies. And let any man be a steady son after that. Properly speaking, he lived perpetually in a state of nature, and with his mode of existence the necessity for self-defence floated daily before his eyes. Hence his constant pistol-shooting. Every moment he expected to be called out. He could not live alone. Hence, with all his oddities, he was very indulgent to his associates. He ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 4, March, 1851 • Various

... the nitrogen from the lower soil-layers and concentrate it in the surface portion. In a state of nature, where the soil is constantly covered with vegetation, the process going on, therefore, will be one of steady accumulation of nitrogen in the surface-soil. To what extent this accumulation goes on, and how ...
— Manures and the principles of manuring • Charles Morton Aikman

... estates be successfully worked without greater security for life and property than at present exists. The capitalists of Mexico will not invest their means in developing the resources of Sonora, and in consequence, the finest country in the world is fast receding to a state of nature. I found in the Palace at Mexico a copy of the last report of the Governor of Sonora upon the state of his Department, in which he mentions, among many other causes of its decadence during the last few years, the extensive emigration of its ...
— Mexico and its Religion • Robert A. Wilson

... best calculation I can make, this is going on, as I have said, in the proportion of about two families and a fraction in four. In one more family and a fraction out of the same number, efforts are being made to reduce the children to a state of nature; and to inculcate, at a tender age, the love of raw flesh, train oil, new rum, and the acquisition of scalps. Wild and outlandish dances are also in vogue (you will have observed the prevailing rage for the Polka); and ...
— Miscellaneous Papers • Charles Dickens

... I was, I was all this while ignorant of Jesus Christ, and going about to establish my own righteousness; and had perished therein, had not God, in mercy, showed me more of my state of nature.' ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... the base of the plants; and it is to be remarked that the pineapple and the bread-fruit, that are also universally grown from cuttings or shoots, and have been cultivated from remote antiquity, have in a great measure lost the faculty of producing mature seed. Such varieties could not arise in a state of nature, but are due to selection by early races of mankind, who would naturally propagate the best varieties; and, to do this, seed was not required. As the finest kinds of bananas, pineapples, and bread-fruit are almost seedless, it is probable that ...
— The Naturalist in Nicaragua • Thomas Belt

... senses, the operation is lost, as in that absence which takes place in deep contemplation. It is owing to our inability to determine what share these internal and external conditions take in producing a result that the absolute or actual state of nature is incomprehensible by us. Nevertheless, conceding to our mental infirmity the idea of a real existence of visible nature, we may consider it as offering a succession of impermanent forms, and as exhibiting ...
— History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume I (of 2) - Revised Edition • John William Draper

... impossible for men to remain any considerable time in that savage condition, which precedes society; but that his very first state and situation may justly be esteemed social. This, however, hinders not, but that philosophers may, if they please, extend their reasoning to the supposed state of nature; provided they allow it to be a mere philosophical fiction, which never had, and never coued have any reality. Human nature being composed of two principal parts, which are requisite in all its actions, the affections and understanding; ...
— A Treatise of Human Nature • David Hume

... true, these houses were not very highly finished; but they were of great value to persons in the situation of the colonists. Most of the hogs, moreover, were still rooting and tearing up the thousand-acre prairie; where, indeed, they roamed very much in a state of nature. Socrates occasionally carried to them a boat-load of 'truck' from the crater, in order to keep up amicable relations with them; but they were little better than so many wild animals, in one sense, though there ...
— The Crater • James Fenimore Cooper

... with the Essence and Genius of true Liberty, and a System derived from the Patriarchs themselves. For when the various Necessities of Society required a Subordination, together with some stated Maxims to go by, to avoid the confused and promiscuous Intercourse in a State of Nature; then did the People elect the most Virtuous and Wise, to lead and conduct them in Times of War and Trouble; to govern, inform, and protect them, in milder and more auspicious Seasons. Then was the Motto of the Crown, or of the chief Ensign of Pre-eminence, Digniori detur, and so continued ...
— An Essay on the Antient and Modern State of Ireland • Henry Brooke

... purpose in her soul. "Under-nourishment", the doctor had said; and he had laid out a regular schedule. Six times daily the unhappy infant was to be fed; and each time some elaborate concoction had to be got ready—practically nothing could be eaten in a state of nature. The first meal would consist of, say a poached egg on a piece of toast, and the juice of an orange, with the seeds carefully excluded; the next of some chicken broth with a cracker or two, and the pulp of prunes with the skins removed; the next of some beef ...
— Love's Pilgrimage • Upton Sinclair

... nature. It may perhaps, not be unpleasing to see the efforts of a great mind wholly uncultivated, enfeebled and depressed by slavery, and struggling under every disadvantage. The reader may here see a Franklin and a Washington, in a state of nature, or rather, in a state of slavery. Destitute as he is of all education, he still exhibits striking traces of ...
— A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, a Native of • Venture Smith

... the raccoon, the nearest relative of Nasua. With a disposition so restless and enterprising, and with such vigor of body and mind, I count it strange that the genus Nasua has not spread all over our south-eastern states, where it is surely fitted to exist in a state of nature even more successfully than the ...
— The Minds and Manners of Wild Animals • William T. Hornaday

... exuviation is effected in the course of a few hours, body and limbs being alike relieved from their hard covering. Until the new shell acquires firmness and strength, the creature is very shy, and in the state of nature, retires into cavities below rocks or heaps of protecting sea-weed. Sir John had kept for some time one of our smaller species of shore-crabs (Carcinus monas), of medium size, of a brown colour, with one white limb. One summer evening it was put outside the window in a capacious glass-vessel of ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 433 - Volume 17, New Series, April 17, 1852 • Various

... likewise valuable as a means of promoting activity in the eliminative function of the skin. Primitive man, living in a state of Nature, was not burdened with clothing. There was nothing to interfere with the healthy activity of his epidermis. There can be no question that the smothering of the skin by our clothing has much to do with defective elimination of wastes, and the more nearly we can avoid clothing, ...
— Vitality Supreme • Bernarr Macfadden

... evening, and on the pretext of cooling ourselves, we undressed so as to be almost in a state of nature. What an orgy we had! I am sorry I am obliged to draw a veil over the most exciting details. In the midst of our licentious gaiety, whilst we were heated by love, champagne, and a discourse of an exciting nature, I proposed to recite Grecourt's 'Y Gyec'. When I had finished the voluptuous ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... question is: To what category of the supernatural belong the salutary acts which man performs by the aid of grace? Undoubtedly there are actual graces which are entitatively natural, e.g. the purely mediate grace of illumination,(287) the natural graces conferred in the pure state of nature, the actual graces of the sensitive sphere,(288) and the so-called cogitatio congrua of Vasquez.(289) The problem therefore narrows itself down to the immediate graces of intellect and will. Before the Tridentine Council theologians contented themselves with acknowledging the divinely revealed ...
— Grace, Actual and Habitual • Joseph Pohle

... planting, fencing, and the accommodation of roads, it is quite evident that his extra thousand pounds of capital will be more profitably expended on such purposes than on lending it to Richard Roe, who has double the quantity of land in a state of nature. For Richard, though with the best intentions, may not find his agricultural returns quite so speedy as he expected, may shake his head negatively at the hint of repayment of the principal, and even be rather tardy with tender of interest at the term. John, moreover, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 361, November, 1845. • Various

... gully, through which winded the horse-path to Shaws-Castle, at a point about a pistol-shot distant from the Buck-stane. As the principal access to Mr. Mowbray's mansion was by a carriage-way, which passed in a different direction, the present path was left almost in a state of nature, full of large stones, and broken by gullies, delightful, from the varied character of its banks, to the picturesque traveller, and most inconvenient, nay dangerous, to him who had a ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... ruins in the bed of the River Waag. Nay, he even ventured upon the audacious experiment of cutting through the mountain chain separating the River Hernad from the River Poprad, and uniting these two rivers (in a state of nature they flow in diametrically opposite directions) into one broad continuous water-course, thus bringing together all the various branches of that scattered family of kindred nations which dwells between the White Sea ...
— The Day of Wrath • Maurus Jokai

... ever has been, and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. In a society, under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger: and as in the latter state even the stronger individuals are prompted by the uncertainty of their condition to submit to a government which may protect the ...
— American Institutions and Their Influence • Alexis de Tocqueville et al

... scrutinising these records, I failed to perceive any constant relation between the weight of their lungs and their tendency to fatten rapidly. Some animals with large lungs converted a larger proportion of their food into meat than others with smaller respiratory organs, and vice versa. In a state of nature, there is no doubt but that the lungs of the ox and of the sheep are moderately large; and it is evident that in their case, as well as in that of man, over-feeding and confinement tend to diminish their muscular energy, and, ...
— The Stock-Feeder's Manual - the chemistry of food in relation to the breeding and - feeding of live stock • Charles Alexander Cameron

... circumstance, when we consider the very great difficulty with which it can be preserved, even by artificial means, in climates of Europe, whose temperature are less warm and less cold than many of those where, in China, it grows in a state of nature, and with the greatest degree of luxuriance. On the heights of Tartary it is found in an uncultivated state where, in winter, the thermometer frequently stands at, and generally far below, the freezing point. But here the roots strike ...
— Travels in China, Containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey thr • John Barrow

... the Liberal party makes Liberals Peers in order to have Liberals in the House of Lords, lo! they soon turn Conservative after they get there. The system perpetuates itself and stifles the natural desire for change that most men in a state of nature instinctively desire in order to assert their own personalities. . ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume I • Burton J. Hendrick

... beauty of the butterflies and birds ... ever new and beautiful, strange and even mysterious," so that he could "hardly recall them without a thrill of admiration and wonder." But "the most unexpected sensation of surprise and delight was my first meeting and living with man in a state of nature—with absolute uncontaminated savages!... and the surprise of it was that I did not expect to be at all so surprised.... These true wild Indians of the Uaupes ... had nothing that we call clothes; they had peculiar ornaments, tribal marks, etc.; they all carried tools or weapons of their own manufacture.... ...
— Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences, Vol. 1 (of 2) • James Marchant

... in many respects almost a synonyme of reason. Physically that gift is typified in the telescopic eyes which monkeys share with a few species of birds, but with hardly any of their mammalian relatives, except man in a state of nature. Mentally it manifests itself in a marvellous faculty for anticipating danger. Last summer Sally, the above-mentioned baboon, contrived to break loose, and took refuge on the top of the roof. I do not believe that ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, October 1885 • Various

... interest of humanity, therefore, still hangs over this prolonged contest between the forces of civilization and those of the primitive state of nature, between the battalions of imperial authority and the bands of democratic liberty; and the more intense because this barrier of nature and wall of freemen once completely carried, there will remain no further hinderance to the victorious course eastward of that ambition ...
— Life of Schamyl - And Narrative of the Circassian War of Independence Against Russia • John Milton Mackie

... Pharmacopeia. "The virtues of this smooth Spleen-wort," he insists, "have stood the test of ages; and the plant every where retained its name and credit: and one of our good herbarists, who had seen a wonderful case of a swoln spleen, so big, and hard as to be felt with terror, brought back to a state of nature by it" (p. 37).[15] The greatest portion of Hill's concluding section combines advertisement for the powder medicine he was himself manufacturing at a handsome profit together with a protest against competing ...
— Hypochondriasis - A Practical Treatise (1766) • John Hill



Words linked to "State of nature" :   natural state, crudity, rudeness, state, wild, primitivism, primitiveness, crudeness



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