Zitate von Sir William Osler

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Sir William Osler

Geburtstag: 12. Juli 1849
Todesdatum: 29. Dezember 1919

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Sir William Osler war ein kanadischer Mediziner, Physiologe und Medizinhistoriker. Um die Jahrhundertwende war er der bekannteste Mediziner im englischsprachigen Raum, auch heute wird er wegen seiner bahnbrechenden Lehrmethoden häufig als Vater der modernen Medizin bezeichnet.

Zitate Sir William Osler

„The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today's work superbly well.“

— William Osler
As quoted in Lifetime Speaker's Encyclopedia (1962) by Jacob Morton Braude, p. 575.

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„The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism.“

— William Osler
Context: The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism. <!-- p. 696

„Whether across death's threshold we step from life to life, or whether we go whence we shall not return, even to the land of darkness, as darkness itself, he cannot tell.“

— William Osler
Context: Though his philosophy finds nothing to support it, at least from the standpoint of Terence the scientific student should be ready to acknowledge the value of a belief in a hereafter as an asset in human life. In the presence of so many mysteries which have been unveiled, in the presence of so many yet unsolved, he cannot be dogmatic and deny the possibility of a future state; and however distressing such a negative attitude of mind to the Teresian, like Pyrrho, he will ask to be left, reserving his judgement, but still inquiring. He will recognize that amid the turbid ebb and flow of human misery, a belief in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come is the rock of safety to which many of the noblest of his fellows have clung; he will gratefully accept the incalculable comfort of such a belief to those sorrowing for precious friends hid in death's dateless night; he will acknowledge with gratitude and reverence the service to humanity of the great souls who have departed this life in a sure and certain hope but this is all. Whether across death's threshold we step from life to life, or whether we go whence we shall not return, even to the land of darkness, as darkness itself, he cannot tell.

„The search of science for the spirits has been neither long nor earnest; nor is it a matter of surprise that it has not been undertaken earlier by men whose training had fitted them for the work.“

— William Osler
Context: The search of science for the spirits has been neither long nor earnest; nor is it a matter of surprise that it has not been undertaken earlier by men whose training had fitted them for the work. It is no clear, vasty deep, but a muddy, Acheronian pool in which our modern spirits dwell, with Circe as the presiding deity and the Witch of Endor as her high priestess. Commingling with the solemn incantations of the devotees who throng the banks, one can hear the mocking laughter of Puck and of Ariel, as they play among the sedges and sing the monotonous refrain, "What fools these mortals be!" Sadly besmirched, and more fitted for a sojourn in Ancyra than in Athens, has been the condition of those who have returned from the quest, and we cannot wonder that scientific men have hesitated to stir the pool and risk a touch from Circe's wand. All the more honour to those who have with honest effort striven to pierce the veil and explore the mysteries which lie behind it.

„The critical sense and sceptical attitude of the Hippocratic school laid the foundations of modern medicine on broad lines“

— William Osler
Context: The critical sense and sceptical attitude of the Hippocratic school laid the foundations of modern medicine on broad lines, and we owe to it: first, the emancipation of medicine from the shackles of priestcraft and of caste; secondly, the conception of medicine as an art based on accurate observation, and as a science, an integral part of the science of man and of nature; thirdly, the high moral ideals, expressed in that most "memorable of human documents" (Gomperz), the Hippocratic oath; and fourthly, the conception and realization of medicine as the profession of a cultivated gentleman.

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„We may indeed be justly proud of our apostolic succession.“

— William Osler
Context: We may indeed be justly proud of our apostolic succession. Schools and systems have flourished and gone, schools which have swayed for generations the thought of our guild, and systems that have died before their founders; the philosophies of one age have become the absurdities of the next, and the foolishness of yesterday has become the wisdom of to-morrow; through long ages which were slowly learning what we are hurrying to forget — amid all the changes and chances of twenty-five centuries, the profession has never lacked men who have lived up to these Greek ideals. <!-- p. 628

„Though a little one, the master-word looms large in meaning. It is the open sesame to every portal, the great equalizer in the world, the true philosopher's stone, which transmutes all the base metal of humanity into gold.“

— William Osler
Context: Though a little one, the master-word looms large in meaning. It is the open sesame to every portal, the great equalizer in the world, the true philosopher's stone, which transmutes all the base metal of humanity into gold. The stupid man among you it will make bright, the bright man brilliant, and the, brilliant student steady. With the magic word in your heart all things are possible, and without it all study is vanity and vexation. The miracles of life are with it; the blind see by touch, the deaf hear with eyes, the dumb speak with fingers. To the youth it brings hope, to the middle-aged confidence, to the aged repose. True balm of hurt minds, in its presence the heart of the sorrowful is lightened and consoled. It is directly responsible for all advances in medicine during the past twenty-five centuries. Laying hold upon it Hippocrates made observation and science the warp and woof of our art. Galen so read its meaning that fifteen centuries stopped thinking, and slept until awakened by the De Fabrica, of Vesalius, which is the very incarnation of the master-word. With its inspiration Harvey gave an impulse to a larger circulation than he wot of, an impulse which we feel to-day. Hunter sounded all its heights and depths, and stands out in our history as one of the great exemplars of its virtues With it Virchow smote the rock, and the waters of progress gushed out while in the hands of Pasteur it proved a very talisman to open to us a new heaven in medicine and a new earth in surgery. Not only has it been the touchstone of progress, but it is the measure of success in every-day life. Not a man before you but is beholden to it for his position here, while he who addresses you has that honor directly in consequence of having had it graven on his heart when he was as you are to-day. And the master-word is Work, a little one, as I have said, but fraught with momentous sequences if you can but write it on the tablets of your hearts and bind it upon your foreheads. But there is a serious difficulty in getting you to understand the paramount importance of the work-habit as part of your organization. You are not far from the Tom Sawyer stage with its philosophy "that work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do." A great many hard things may be said of the work-habit. For most of us it means a hard battle; the few take to it naturally; the many prefer idleness and never learn to love labor.

„Though his philosophy finds nothing to support it, at least from the standpoint of Terence the scientific student should be ready to acknowledge the value of a belief in a hereafter as an asset in human life. In the presence of so many mysteries which have been unveiled, in the presence of so many yet unsolved, he cannot be dogmatic and deny the possibility of a future state“

— William Osler
Context: Though his philosophy finds nothing to support it, at least from the standpoint of Terence the scientific student should be ready to acknowledge the value of a belief in a hereafter as an asset in human life. In the presence of so many mysteries which have been unveiled, in the presence of so many yet unsolved, he cannot be dogmatic and deny the possibility of a future state; and however distressing such a negative attitude of mind to the Teresian, like Pyrrho, he will ask to be left, reserving his judgement, but still inquiring. He will recognize that amid the turbid ebb and flow of human misery, a belief in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come is the rock of safety to which many of the noblest of his fellows have clung; he will gratefully accept the incalculable comfort of such a belief to those sorrowing for precious friends hid in death's dateless night; he will acknowledge with gratitude and reverence the service to humanity of the great souls who have departed this life in a sure and certain hope but this is all. Whether across death's threshold we step from life to life, or whether we go whence we shall not return, even to the land of darkness, as darkness itself, he cannot tell.

„Creeds pass, an inexhaustible supply of faith remains, with which man proceeds to rebuild temples, churches, chapels and shrines.“

— William Osler
Context: Nothing in life is more wonderful than faith — the one great moving force which we can neither weigh in the balance nor test in the crucible. Intangible as the ether, ineluctable as gravitation, the radium of the moral and mental spheres, mysterious, indefinable, known only by its effects, faith pours out an unfailing stream of energy while abating nor jot nor tittle of its potency. Well indeed did St. Paul break out into the well-known glorious panegyric, but even this scarcely does justice to the Hertha of the psychical world, distributing force as from a great storage battery without money and without price to the children of men. Three of its relations concern us here. The most active manifestations are in the countless affiliations which man in his evolution has worked out with the unseen, with the invisible powers, whether of light or of darkness, to which from time immemorial he has erected altars and shrines. To each one of the religions, past or present, faith has been the Jacob's ladder. Creeds pass, an inexhaustible supply of faith remains, with which man proceeds to rebuild temples, churches, chapels and shrines.

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„There is no more difficult art to acquire than the art of observation, and for some men it is quite as difficult to record an observation in brief and plain language.“

— William Osler
Context: There is no more difficult art to acquire than the art of observation, and for some men it is quite as difficult to record an observation in brief and plain language. <!-- p. 333

„Faith is indeed one of the miracles of human nature which science is as ready to accept as it is to study its marvellous effects.“

— William Osler
Context: Faith is indeed one of the miracles of human nature which science is as ready to accept as it is to study its marvellous effects. When we realise what a vast asset it has been in history, the part which it has played in the healing art seems insignificant, and yet there is no department of knowledge more favourable to an impartial study of its effects, and this brings me to my subject — the faith that heals.

„A man must have faith in himself to be of any use in the world.“

— William Osler
Context: A man must have faith in himself to be of any use in the world. There may be very little on which to base it — no matter, but faith in one's powers, in one's mission is essential to success. Confidence once won, the rest follows naturally; and with strong faith in himself a man becomes a local center for its radiation. St. Francis, St. Theresa, Ignatius Loyola, Florence Nightingale, the originator of every cult or sect or profession has possessed this infective faith. And in the ordinary everyday work of the doctor confidence, assurance (in the proper sense of the word) is an asset without which it is very difficult to succeed.

„All the more honour to those who have with honest effort striven to pierce the veil and explore the mysteries which lie behind it.“

— William Osler
Context: The search of science for the spirits has been neither long nor earnest; nor is it a matter of surprise that it has not been undertaken earlier by men whose training had fitted them for the work. It is no clear, vasty deep, but a muddy, Acheronian pool in which our modern spirits dwell, with Circe as the presiding deity and the Witch of Endor as her high priestess. Commingling with the solemn incantations of the devotees who throng the banks, one can hear the mocking laughter of Puck and of Ariel, as they play among the sedges and sing the monotonous refrain, "What fools these mortals be!" Sadly besmirched, and more fitted for a sojourn in Ancyra than in Athens, has been the condition of those who have returned from the quest, and we cannot wonder that scientific men have hesitated to stir the pool and risk a touch from Circe's wand. All the more honour to those who have with honest effort striven to pierce the veil and explore the mysteries which lie behind it.

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