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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > Sir Charles Scott Sherrington Quotes

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Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
(27 Nov 1857 - 4 Mar 1952)

English neurophysiologist.


Science Quotes by Sir Charles Scott Sherrington (15 quotes)

A scientist lives with all of reality. There is nothing better. To know reality is to accept it and eventually to love it.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (37)  |  Better (131)  |  Eventually (14)  |  Know (321)  |  Live (186)  |  Love (164)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Reality (140)  |  Scientist (447)

A vast number, perhaps the numerical majority, of animal forms cannot be shown unequivocally to possess mind.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
In 'The Brain Collaborates With Psyche', Man On His Nature: The Gifford Lectures, Edinburgh 1937-8 (1940), 284.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal Behavior (9)  |  Mind (544)

As followers of natural science we know nothing of any relation between thoughts and the brain, except as a gross correlation in time and space.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
Man on his Nature (1942), 290.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (181)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Natural Science (62)  |  Relation (96)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Time And Space (30)

Biology cannot go far in its subject without being met by mind.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
In 'The Brain Collaborates With Psyche', Man On His Nature: The Gifford Lectures, Edinburgh 1937-8 (1940), 290-291.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (150)  |  Mind (544)

If we denote excitation as an end-effect by the sign plus (+), and inhibition as end-effect by the sign minus (–), such a reflex as the scratch-reflex can be termed a reflex of double-sign, for it develops excitatory end-effect and then inhibitory end-effect even during the duration of the exciting stimulus.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
The Integrative Action of the Nervous System (1906), 83.
Science quotes on:  |  Excitation (7)  |  Inhibition (10)  |  Reflex (9)  |  Scratch (6)  |  Sign (36)  |  Stimulus (18)  |  Term (87)

In the training and in the exercise of medicine a remoteness abides between the field of neurology and that of mental health, psychiatry. It is sometimes blamed to prejudice on the part of the one side or the other. It is both more grave and less grave than that. It has a reasonable basis. It is rooted in the energy-mind problem. Physiology has not enough to offer about the brain in relation to the mind to lend the psychiatrist much help.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
In 'The Brain Collaborates With Psyche', Man On His Nature: The Gifford Lectures, Edinburgh 1937-8 (1940), 283.
Science quotes on:  |  Blame (17)  |  Brain (181)  |  Exercise (35)  |  Help (68)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Mental Health (4)  |  Mind (544)  |  Physiology (66)  |  Prejudice (58)  |  Problem (362)  |  Psychiatrist (13)  |  Psychiatry (19)  |  Remoteness (7)  |  Training (39)

Natural knowledge has not forgone emotion. It has simply taken for itself new ground of emotion, under impulsion from and in sacrifice to that one of its 'values', Truth.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
Man on His Nature (1940), 404.
Science quotes on:  |  Emotion (62)  |  Forgo (2)  |  Impulse (24)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Natural (128)  |  Sacrifice (24)  |  Truth (750)  |  Value (180)

scientist is a ... learned child. Others must outgrow it. Scientists can stay that way all their life.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Child (189)  |  Learn (160)  |  Life (917)  |  Outgrow (4)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Stay (15)

That our being should consist of two fundamental elements [physical and psychical] offers I suppose no greater inherent improbability than that it should rest on one only.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
The Integrative Action of the Nervous System (1947), Foreword to 1947 Edition, xx.
Science quotes on:  |  Element (129)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Improbability (7)  |  Inherent (27)

The brain is waking and with it the mind is returning. It is as if the Milky Way entered upon some cosmic dance. Swiftly the head-mass becomes an enchanted loom where millions of flashing shuttles weave a dissolving pattern, always a meaningful pattern though never an abiding one.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
Man on His Nature (1940), 225.
Science quotes on:  |  Abiding (2)  |  Brain (181)  |  Cosmic (34)  |  Dance (14)  |  Dissolve (9)  |  Enchantment (8)  |  Enter (20)  |  Flash (25)  |  Loom (7)  |  Milky Way (19)  |  Million (89)  |  Mind (544)  |  Pattern (56)  |  Return (35)  |  Waking (4)  |  Weave (9)

The brain seems a thoroughfare for nerve-action passing its way to the motor animal. It has been remarked that Life's aim is an act not a thought. To-day the dictum must be modified to admit that, often, to refrain from an act is no less an act than to commit one, because inhibition is coequally with excitation a nervous activity.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
The Brain and its Mechanism (1933), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (80)  |  Action (151)  |  Activity (97)  |  Brain (181)  |  Commit (17)  |  Dictum (5)  |  Excitation (7)  |  Inhibition (10)  |  Life (917)  |  Modification (31)  |  Motor (10)  |  Nerve (66)  |  Refrain (6)  |  Thought (374)

The role of inhibition in the working of the central nervous system has proved to be more and more extensive and more and more fundamental as experiment has advanced in examining it. Reflex inhibition can no longer be regarded merely as a factor specially developed for dealing with the antagonism of opponent muscles acting at various hinge-joints. Its role as a coordinative factor comprises that, and goes beyond that. In the working of the central nervous machinery inhibition seems as ubiquitous and as frequent as is excitation itself. The whole quantitative grading of the operations of the spinal cord and brain appears to rest upon mutual interaction between the two central processes 'excitation' and 'inhibition', the one no less important than the other. For example, no operation can be more important as a basis of coordination for a motor act than adjustment of the quantity of contraction, e.g. of the number of motor units employed and the intensity of their individual tetanic activity. This now appears as the outcome of nice co-adjustment of excitation and inhibition upon each of all the individual units which cooperate in the act.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
Inhibition as a Coordinative Factor', Nobel Lecture (12 Dec 1932). Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1922-1941 (1965), 288.
Science quotes on:  |  Antagonism (5)  |  Brain (181)  |  Central (23)  |  Contraction (6)  |  Excitation (7)  |  Hinge (2)  |  Inhibition (10)  |  Joint (11)  |  Motor (10)  |  Nervous System (11)  |  Spinal Cord (3)

The terminal path may, to distinguish it from internuncial common paths, be called the final common path. The motor nerve to a muscle is a collection of such final common paths.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
'Correlation of Reflexes and the Principle of the Common Path', Report of the Seventy-Fourth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1904), 730.
Science quotes on:  |  Collection (38)  |  Common (92)  |  Distinguish (32)  |  Final (33)  |  Motor (10)  |  Muscle (32)  |  Nerve (66)  |  Path (59)  |  Terminal (2)

This integrative action in virtue of which the nervous system unifies from separate organs an animal possessing solidarity, an individual, is the problem before us.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
The Integrative Action of the Nervous System (1906), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Animal (309)  |  Individual (177)  |  Integration (12)  |  Nervous System (11)  |  Organ (60)  |  Possession (37)  |  Problem (362)  |  Separate (46)  |  Unification (9)  |  Virtue (55)

With the nervous system intact the reactions of the various parts of that system, the 'simple reflexes', are ever combined into great unitary harmonies, actions which in their sequence one upon another constitute in their continuity what may be termed the 'behaviour'.
— Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
The Integrative Action of the Nervous System (1906), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Behavior (49)  |  Nervous System (11)  |  Reaction (59)  |  Reflex (9)  |  Sequence (32)


See also:
  • 27 Nov - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Sherrington's birth.
  • Booklist for Charles Scott Sherrington.

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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