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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index H > David Hartley Quotes

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David Hartley
(8 Aug 1705 - 28 Aug 1757)

English psychologist, physician and philosopher.

Science Quotes by David Hartley (4 quotes)

It is often in our Power to obtain an Analogy where we cannot have an Induction.
— David Hartley
Observations on Man, His Frame, His Duty, and His Expectations (1749).
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (52)  |  Induction (55)

The influence of Association over our Opinions and Affections, and its Use in explaining those Things in an accurate and precise Way, which are commonly referred to the Power of Habit and Custom, is a general and indeterminate one.
— David Hartley
Observations on Man, His Frame, His Duty, and His Expectations (1749), part 1, 5-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Habit (100)  |  Human Nature (58)  |  Opinion (168)

The White medullary Substance of the Brain is also the immediate Instrument, by which Ideas are presented to the Mind: Or, in other Words, whatever Changes are made in this Substance, corresponding Changes are made in our Ideas; and vice versa.
— David Hartley
Observations on Man, His Frame, His Duty, and His Expectations (1749), part 1, 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (206)  |  Idea (545)  |  Mind (691)

When external objects are impressed on the sensory nerves, they excite vibrations in the aether residing in the pores of these nerves... Thus it seems that light affects both the optic nerve and the aether and ... the affections of the aether are communicated to the optic nerve, and vice versa. And the same may be observed of frictions of the skin, taste, smells and sounds... Vibrations in the aether will agitate the small particles of the medullary substance of the sensory nerves with synchronous vibrations... up to the brain... These vibrations are motions backwards and forwards of small particles, of the same kind with the oscillations of pendulums, and the tremblings of the particles of the sounding bodies (but) exceedingly short and small, so as not to have the least efficacy to disturb or move the whole bodies of the nerves... That the nerves themselves should vibrate like musical strings is highly absurd.
— David Hartley
Observations on Man, His Frame, His Duty, and His Expectations (1749), part 1, 11-22.
Science quotes on:  |  Nerve (68)  |  Sense (300)

Quotes by others about David Hartley (1)

The sublime discoveries of Newton, and, together with these, his not less fruitful than wonderful application, of the higher mathesis to the movement of the celestial bodies, and to the laws of light, gave almost religious sanction to the corpuscular system and mechanical theory. It became synonymous with philosophy itself. It was the sole portal at which truth was permitted to enter. The human body was treated an hydraulic machine... In short, from the time of Kepler to that of Newton, and from Newton to Hartley, not only all things in external nature, but the subtlest mysteries of life, organization, and even of the intellect and moral being, were conjured within the magic circle of mathematical formulae.
Hints Towards the Formation of a more Comprehensive Theory of Life (1848). In The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Shorter Works and Fragments (1995), H. J. Jackson and J. R. de J. Jackson (eds.), Vol. 11, 1, 498.
Science quotes on:  |  Johannes Kepler (87)  |  Magic (75)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (311)  |  Philosophy (241)

See also:
  • 8 Aug - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Hartley's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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