Celebrating 19 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Politics is more difficult than physics.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index A > Category: Attainable

Attainable Quotes (3 quotes)

Everything material which is the subject of knowledge has number, order, or position; and these are her first outlines for a sketch of the universe. If our feeble hands cannot follow out the details, still her part has been drawn with an unerring pen, and her work cannot be gainsaid. So wide is the range of mathematical sciences, so indefinitely may it extend beyond our actual powers of manipulation that at some moments we are inclined to fall down with even more than reverence before her majestic presence. But so strictly limited are her promises and powers, about so much that we might wish to know does she offer no information whatever, that at other moments we are fain to call her results but a vain thing, and to reject them as a stone where we had asked for bread. If one aspect of the subject encourages our hopes, so does the other tend to chasten our desires, and he is perhaps the wisest, and in the long run the happiest, among his fellows, who has learned not only this science, but also the larger lesson which it directly teaches, namely, to temper our aspirations to that which is possible, to moderate our desires to that which is attainable, to restrict our hopes to that of which accomplishment, if not immediately practicable, is at least distinctly within the range of conception.
From Presidential Address (Aug 1878) to the British Association, Dublin, published in the Report of the 48th Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1878), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (93)  |  Actual (117)  |  Ask (411)  |  Aspect (124)  |  Aspiration (32)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Bread (39)  |  Call (769)  |  Chasten (2)  |  Conception (154)  |  Desire (204)  |  Detail (146)  |  Directly (22)  |  Distinctly (5)  |  Down (456)  |  Draw (137)  |  Encourage (40)  |  Everything (476)  |  Extend (128)  |  Fall (230)  |  Feeble (27)  |  Fellow (88)  |  First (1283)  |  Follow (378)  |  Hand (143)  |  Happy (105)  |  Hope (299)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Inclined (41)  |  Indefinitely (10)  |  Information (166)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Large (394)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Least (75)  |  Lesson (57)  |  Limit (280)  |  Limited (101)  |  Long (790)  |  Majestic (16)  |  Manipulation (19)  |  Material (353)  |  Moderate (6)  |  Moment (253)  |  More (2559)  |  Namely (11)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (80)  |  Number (699)  |  Offer (141)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  Outline (11)  |  Part (222)  |  Pen (20)  |  Position (77)  |  Possible (552)  |  Power (746)  |  Practicable (2)  |  Presence (63)  |  Promise (67)  |  Range (99)  |  Reject (63)  |  Restrict (12)  |  Result (677)  |  Reverence (28)  |  Run (174)  |  Science (3879)  |  Sketch (8)  |  Still (613)  |  Stone (162)  |  Strictly (13)  |  Subject (521)  |  Teach (277)  |  Temper (9)  |  Tend (124)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Unerring (4)  |  Universe (857)  |  Vain (83)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Wide (96)  |  Wise (131)  |  Wish (212)  |  Work (1351)

I do not intend to go deeply into the question how far mathematical studies, as the representatives of conscious logical reasoning, should take a more important place in school education. But it is, in reality, one of the questions of the day. In proportion as the range of science extends, its system and organization must be improved, and it must inevitably come about that individual students will find themselves compelled to go through a stricter course of training than grammar is in a position to supply. What strikes me in my own experience with students who pass from our classical schools to scientific and medical studies, is first, a certain laxity in the application of strictly universal laws. The grammatical rules, in which they have been exercised, are for the most part followed by long lists of exceptions; accordingly they are not in the habit of relying implicitly on the certainty of a legitimate deduction from a strictly universal law. Secondly, I find them for the most part too much inclined to trust to authority, even in cases where they might form an independent judgment. In fact, in philological studies, inasmuch as it is seldom possible to take in the whole of the premises at a glance, and inasmuch as the decision of disputed questions often depends on an aesthetic feeling for beauty of expression, or for the genius of the language, attainable only by long training, it must often happen that the student is referred to authorities even by the best teachers. Both faults are traceable to certain indolence and vagueness of thought, the sad effects of which are not confined to subsequent scientific studies. But certainly the best remedy for both is to be found in mathematics, where there is absolute certainty in the reasoning, and no authority is recognized but that of one’s own intelligence.
In 'On the Relation of Natural Science to Science in general', Popular Lectures on Scientific Subjects, translated by E. Atkinson (1900), 25-26.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Absolute (145)  |  Accordingly (5)  |  Aesthetic (46)  |  Application (242)  |  Authority (95)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Best (459)  |  Both (493)  |  Case (99)  |  Certain (550)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Classical (45)  |  Compel (30)  |  Confine (26)  |  Conscious (45)  |  Course (409)  |  Decision (91)  |  Deduction (82)  |  Deeply (17)  |  Depend (228)  |  Dispute (32)  |  Do (1908)  |  Education (378)  |  Effect (393)  |  Exception (73)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Experience (467)  |  Expression (175)  |  Extend (128)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Far (154)  |  Fault (54)  |  Feel (367)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Find (998)  |  First (1283)  |  Follow (378)  |  Form (959)  |  Genius (284)  |  Glance (34)  |  Grammar (14)  |  Grammatical (2)  |  Habit (168)  |  Happen (274)  |  Important (209)  |  Improve (58)  |  Inasmuch (5)  |  Inclined (41)  |  Independent (67)  |  Individual (404)  |  Indolence (8)  |  Inevitably (6)  |  Intelligence (211)  |  Intend (16)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Language (293)  |  Law (894)  |  Laxity (2)  |  Legitimate (25)  |  List (10)  |  Logical (55)  |  Long (790)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Medical (26)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Must (1526)  |  Often (106)  |  Organization (114)  |  Part (222)  |  Pass (238)  |  Philological (3)  |  Place (177)  |  Position (77)  |  Possible (552)  |  Premise (37)  |  Proportion (136)  |  Question (621)  |  Range (99)  |  Reality (261)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Recognize (125)  |  Refer (14)  |  Rely (11)  |  Remedy (62)  |  Representative (14)  |  Rule (294)  |  Sadness (35)  |  School (219)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Seldom (65)  |  Strict (17)  |  Strictly (13)  |  Strike (68)  |  Student (300)  |  Study (653)  |  Subsequent (33)  |  Supply (93)  |  System (537)  |  Teacher (143)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thought (953)  |  Through (849)  |  Traceable (5)  |  Training (80)  |  Trust (66)  |  Universal (189)  |  Universal Law (3)  |  Vagueness (15)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)  |  Whole (738)  |  Will (2355)

Science is the knowledge of many, orderly and methodically digested and arranged, so as to become attainable by one. The knowledge of reasons and their conclusions constitutes abstract, that of causes and their effects, and of the laws of nature, natural science.
A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy (1830).
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (124)  |  Arrange (30)  |  Become (815)  |  Cause (541)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Digest (9)  |  Effect (393)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Methodically (2)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Science (128)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Orderly (38)  |  Reason (744)  |  Science (3879)


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
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.