Natura naturata is a Latin term coined in the Middle Ages, mainly used later 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".
The distinction is expressed in Spinoza's Ethics as follows:
[B]y Natura naturans we must understand what is in itself and is conceived through itself, or such attributes of substance as express an eternal and infinite essence, that is … God, insofar as he is considered as a free cause.
But by Natura naturata I understand whatever follows from the necessity of God's nature, or from God's attributes, that is, all the modes of God's attributes insofar as they are considered as things which are in God, and can neither be nor be conceived without God.
To Spinoza, Nature and God were the same (see Deus sive Natura).
- Ethics, Part I, Prop. 29, Scholium. Trans: Edwin Curley. London: Penguin, 1996.
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