Natural shockamancy: The archons "Flash" tactic?
Hmm, this whole page has initially been just a listing of the natural magicks, but now we're seeing the listed items get filled out. Doesn't feel right. I think we either need to keep this to a listing, or we need to restructure the page. --Charles 00:43, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Natural Law ~= Natural Magic
Erfworlders are essentially the equivalent of medieval peasants and theologians. They're not authoritative sources and should never be considered such. View them as being superstitious by default and everything falls into place. That's the main problem I see with all the speculation on the wiki regarding magic. (Aside from being painfully wishywashy and inarticulate.)
My opinion is that Erfworld philosophy doesn't have scientific realism or materialism. These are ideas they haven't invented yet and it is a mistake to assume that they view their world the same way the modern person from Earth would. In their mind, everything is "the Titans-dunnit." Similarly, a bronze age theologian from Earth would argue that you could work out the rules for combustion but that God could change the rules at any time (i.e. a miracle). And this is effectively the Erfworlder view. Nature is mystical and subject to the whim of a god.
You have to remember that Parson's first reaction to learning about magic was to compare it directly to Aristotle's concept of elements (i.e. fire, air, earth and water). And we know he's tempted to dismiss that view - people believed it simply because Aristotle said so. And frankly, he'd have a point. The only reason Erfworld classifications for magic exist is because Casters are strictly limited to a specific discipline. An Erfworlder sees a thunderstorm and calls it natural shockamancy because shockamancers can shoot lightning.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry for free will calls it a "philosophical term of art." And in case you're wondering, that's the closest you can come to calling something bullshit in an academic setting without actually admitting the fact of its incoherent shittiness.
And so I am using it here: Natural Magic is just an Erfworlder philosophical term of art. It's similar to the term "natural law," or more pretentiously, "Natural Law." Erfworlders do have an irritating tendency to capitalize things for no reason because they really are viewing these things as being Platonic ideals or the Writ of the Titans. (No really, what's the difference between "Fate" and "fate" exactly?)