Voluntary Quotes (4 quotes)
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.
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 uswe 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 freeuninfluenced 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.