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- Nothing is so conducive to a right appreciaton of the truth as a right appreciation of the error by which it is surrounded. The successful investigator must bring to test statements and conceptions which have been too long accepted on faith, habit, or good-nature. He must look boldly behind certain large words which are now too often the shelter of ignorance, and he must satisfy himself whether they have any definite value or not. When it is seen how much our current language really signifies, and when all technicalities, which took their rise in old and false methods, have been swept out of sight, we shall feel, perhaps, a little bare, but at any rate we shall have open field for our new researches.
- On the Use of the Ophthalmoscope in diseases of the nervous system, and of the kidneys, etc. Macmillan. 1871. p. 5.
- Education, as contrasted with instruction, is a drawing forth of faculties, a quickening, enlarging, and refining of them when brought out, and an establishment of them in habits; so that virtue and reason become easy and pleasant to us.
- On professional education, with special reference to medicine. Macmillan. 1906. p. 2.
- In the fourth century there were not a few eminent physicians in Byzantium, Alexandria, and Asia Minor; still on the whole the Byzantine system stifled mental activity, and medical literature was represented only by such encyclopedias as those of Oribasius, Aetius, and Paul of Aegina, compilations which notwithstanding, by salvage of writings which might otherwise have been utterly lost, did priceless service to the historian. And, beside these, the endless succession of herbaries, recipe books, and antidotariums, like lower organisms, propagated their futile kind.
- Greek medicine in Rome: the Fitzpatrick Lectures on the history of medicine delivered at the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1909–1910 (1921 ed.). Macmillan. pp. 426–427.
- ... Palissy—like his contemporary Gilbert, and like Galileo who came very soon after him—was one of the chief engineers of the new paths of knowledge, and was in France the chief engineer. Indeed, astronomy and mathematics apart, he with Dodoens and Gesner were the first in Europe since Aristotle, Theophrastus, and Pliny, to pursue modern scientific methods in the worlds of geology, botany, and zoology, and to work and teach from and with the natural objects themselves.
- (April 1913)"Palissy, Bacon, and the Revival of Natural Science". Proceedings of the British Academy, 1913–1914 6: 233–247. (quote from p. 247)