Celebrating 20 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “A change in motion is proportional to the motive force impressed and takes place along the straight line in which that force is impressed.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index F > Category: Fortify

Fortify Quotes (4 quotes)

Error is often nourished by good sense. … The meaning is, that the powers of the understanding are frequently employed to defend favourite errors; and that a man of sense frequently fortifies himself in his prejudices, or in false opinions which he received without examination, by such arguments as would not have occurred to a fool.
In Maxims, Characters, and Reflections, Critical, Satyrical and Moral (2nd ed., 1757), 9. The meaning is given as a footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (138)  |  Defend (30)  |  Employ (113)  |  Employed (3)  |  Error (321)  |  Examination (98)  |  False (100)  |  Favourite (6)  |  Fool (116)  |  Frequently (21)  |  Good (889)  |  Himself (461)  |  Man (2249)  |  Meaning (235)  |  Nourished (2)  |  Occur (150)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Power (747)  |  Prejudice (88)  |  Receive (114)  |  Sense (770)  |  Understand (607)  |  Understanding (514)

In mathematics, … and in natural philosophy since mathematics was applied to it, we see the noblest instance of the force of the human mind, and of the sublime heights to which it may rise by cultivation. An acquaintance with such sciences naturally leads us to think well of our faculties, and to indulge sanguine expectations concerning the improvement of other parts of knowledge. To this I may add, that, as mathematical and physical truths are perfectly uninteresting in their consequences, the understanding readily yields its assent to the evidence which is presented to it; and in this way may be expected to acquire the habit of trusting to its own conclusions, which will contribute to fortify it against the weaknesses of scepticism, in the more interesting inquiries after moral truth in which it may afterwards engage.
In Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind (1827), Vol. 3, Chap. 1, Sec. 3, 182.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquaintance (37)  |  Against (332)  |  Applied (176)  |  Assent (12)  |  Conclusion (255)  |  Consequence (207)  |  Contribute (27)  |  Cultivation (35)  |  Engage (39)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Expect (201)  |  Expectation (65)  |  Force (488)  |  Habit (168)  |  Human (1470)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Improvement (110)  |  Indulge (14)  |  Inquiry (79)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Lead (385)  |  Mathematics (1333)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Moral (195)  |  More (2559)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Philosophy (52)  |  Other (2236)  |  Philosophy (382)  |  Physical (508)  |  Present (620)  |  Rise (166)  |  Scepticism (16)  |  Science (3880)  |  See (1082)  |  Skepticism (28)  |  Sublime (46)  |  Think (1086)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Understand (607)  |  Understanding (514)  |  Uninteresting (9)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)  |  Way (1216)  |  Weakness (48)  |  Will (2354)  |  Yield (81)

The value of history is, indeed, not scientific but moral: by liberalizing the mind, by deepening the sympathies, by fortifying the will, it enables us to control, not society, but ourselves—a much more important thing; it prepares us to live more humanely in the present and to meet rather than to foretell the future.
In 'A New Philosophy of History', The Dial (2 Sep 1915), 148. This is Becker’s concluding remark in his review of a book by L. Cecil Jane, The Interpretation of History. Becker refutes Jane’s idea that the value of history lies in whether it consists in furnishing “some clue as to what the future will bring.”
Science quotes on:  |  Control (167)  |  Deepen (6)  |  Enable (119)  |  Foretell (12)  |  Future (432)  |  History (675)  |  Indeed (323)  |  Live (629)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Moral (195)  |  More (2559)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Prepare (38)  |  Present (620)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Society (325)  |  Sympathy (31)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Value (368)  |  Will (2354)

These Disciplines [mathematics] serve to inure and corroborate the Mind to a constant Diligence in Study; to undergo the Trouble of an attentive Meditation, and cheerfully contend with such Difficulties as lie in the Way. They wholly deliver us from a credulous Simplicity, most strongly fortify us against the Vanity of Scepticism, effectually restrain from a rash Presumption, most easily incline us to a due Assent, perfectly subject us to the Government of right Reason, and inspire us with Resolution to wrestle against the unjust Tyranny of false Prejudices. If the Fancy be unstable and fluctuating, it is to be poized by this Ballast, and steadied by this Anchor, if the Wit be blunt it is sharpened upon this Whetstone; if luxuriant it is pared by this Knife; if headstrong it is restrained by this Bridle; and if dull it is rouzed by this Spur. The Steps are guided by no Lamp more clearly through the dark Mazes of Nature, by no Thread more surely through the intricate Labyrinths of Philosophy, nor lastly is the Bottom of Truth sounded more happily by any other Line. I will not mention how plentiful a Stock of Knowledge the Mind is furnished from these, with what wholesome Food it is nourished, and what sincere Pleasure it enjoys. But if I speak farther, I shall neither be the only Person, nor the first, who affirms it; that while the Mind is abstracted and elevated from sensible Matter, distinctly views pure Forms, conceives the Beauty of Ideas, and investigates the Harmony of Proportions; the Manners themselves are sensibly corrected and improved, the Affections composed and rectified, the Fancy calmed and settled, and the Understanding raised and excited to more divine Contemplations. All which I might defend by Authority, and confirm by the Suffrages of the greatest Philosophers.
Prefatory Oration in Mathematical Lectures (1734), xxxi.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (126)  |  Affection (43)  |  Against (332)  |  All (4107)  |  Anchor (10)  |  Assent (12)  |  Attentive (14)  |  Authority (96)  |  Ballast (2)  |  Beauty (300)  |  Calm (31)  |  Conceive (99)  |  Confirm (57)  |  Constant (144)  |  Contemplation (73)  |  Credulous (9)  |  Dark (140)  |  Deliver (29)  |  Difficulty (198)  |  Diligence (20)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Divine (112)  |  Due (141)  |  Dull (54)  |  Fancy (50)  |  Farther (51)  |  First (1284)  |  Food (199)  |  Form (960)  |  Furnish (96)  |  Government (111)  |  Greatest (329)  |  Harmony (102)  |  Idea (845)  |  Intricate (29)  |  Investigate (103)  |  Knife (23)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Labyrinth (10)  |  Lamp (36)  |  Lie (364)  |  Mathematics (1333)  |  Matter (801)  |  Maze (10)  |  Meditation (19)  |  Mention (82)  |  Mind (1339)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1729)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Other (2236)  |  Person (363)  |  Philosopher (259)  |  Philosophy (382)  |  Pleasure (179)  |  Prejudice (88)  |  Presumption (15)  |  Proportion (136)  |  Pure (292)  |  Rash (14)  |  Reason (744)  |  Rectified (4)  |  Resolution (23)  |  Right (452)  |  Scepticism (16)  |  Settled (34)  |  Sharpen (22)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Sound (183)  |  Speak (232)  |  Spur (4)  |  Step (231)  |  Study (656)  |  Subject (522)  |  Suffrage (4)  |  Surely (101)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thread (32)  |  Through (849)  |  Trouble (107)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Tyranny (14)  |  Understanding (514)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)  |  Vanity (19)  |  View (488)  |  Way (1216)  |  Whetstone (2)  |  Wholesome (12)  |  Wholly (88)  |  Will (2354)  |  Wit (59)


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


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