Voluntary Quotes (6 quotes)
Although we may be at a loss to explain the nature of that substance in the nerves, by whose intervention the mind seems enabled to act upon the muscles; and though we may be unacquainted with the intimate structure of those fibres upon which this substance operates, yet we have no room to doubt that voluntary motion is produced by the immediate energy of the mind; manifold experience convincing us, that though there be required certain conditions in the body in order to its performance, it is nevertheless owing to the will.
Another great and special excellence of mathematics is that it demands earnest voluntary exertion. It is simply impossible for a person to become a good mathematician by the happy accident of having been sent to a good school; this may give him a preparation and a start, but by his own individual efforts alone can he reach an eminent position.
Every man who rises above the common level has received two educations: the first from his teachers; the second, more personal and important, from himself. … in which his mind has expanded to its proper form and dimensions … in the voluntary labours. … the merit of spontaneous and solid industry.
I have long since come to see that no one deserves either praise or blame for the ideas that come to him, but only for the actions resulting therefrom. Ideas and beliefs are certainly not voluntary acts. They come to us—we hardly know how or whence, and once they have got possession of us we can not reject or change them at will. It is for the common good that the promulgation of ideas should be free—uninfluenced by either praise or blame, reward or punishment. But the actions which result from our ideas may properly be so treated, because it is only by patient thought and work, that new ideas, if good and true, become adopted and utilized; while, if untrue or if not adequately presented to the world, they are rejected or forgotten.
Sciences … voluntary relapse into errors. … The scientist is like a man who purposely marches many steps backward before he jumps a trench.
Voluntary attention is … a habit, an imitation of natural attention, which … serves, at the same time, as its point of departure and point of support. … Attention … creates nothing; and if the brain be sterile, if the associations are poor, it will act its part in vain.