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INSTINCT
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[ Also see Feeling Impulse Inclination Intuition Mind Motive Perception Reason Sense Senses Sensibility Sentiment ]

Animals in their generation are wiser than the sons of men; but their wisdom is confined to a few particulars, and lies in a very narrow compass.
      - Joseph Addison

Reason shows itself in all occurrences of life; whereas the brute makes no discovery of such a talent, but in what immediately regards his own preservation or the continuance of his species.
      - Joseph Addison

There is not, in my opinion, anything more mysterious in nature than this instinct in animals which thus rise above reason and fall infinitely short of it.
      - Joseph Addison

Who taught the parrot his "Welcome?" Who taught the raven in a drought to throw pebbles into a hollow tree where she espied water, that the water might rise so as she might come to it? Who taught the bee to sail through such a vast sea of air, and to find the way from a flower in a field to her hive? Who taught the ant to bite every grain of corn that she burieth in her hill, lest it should take root and grow?
      - Francis Bacon

Instinct is untaught ability.
      - Alexander Bain, Senses and Intellect
         (p. 256)

How often we feel anal know, either pleasurably or painfully, that another is looking on us, before we have ascertained the fact with our own eyes! How often we prophesy truly to ourselves the approach of friend or enemy just before either has really appeared! How strangely and abruptly we become convinced, at a first introduction, that we shall secretly love this person and loathe that, before experience, has guided us with a single fact in relation to their characters!
      - Wilkie (William) Collins

Five thousand years have added no improvement to the hive of the bee, nor to the house of the beaver; but look at the habitations and the achievements of men!
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Instinct is the nose of the mind.
      - Madame Delphine Gay de Girardin

We are too good for pure instinct.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A good man, through obscurest aspirations
  Has still an instinct of the one true way.
    [Ger., Ein guter Mensch, in seinem dunkeln Drange,
      Ist sich des rechten Weges sohl bewusst.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
        Faust--Prolog in Himmel--Der Herr
         (l. 88)

To the present impulse of sense, memory, and instinct, all the sagacities of brutes may be reduced; though witty men, by analytical resolution, have chemically extracted an artificial logic out of their actions.
      - Sir Matthew Hale

An instinct is an agent which performs blindly and ignorantly a work of intelligence and knowledge.
      - Sir William Hamilton (3)

A goose flies by a chart which the Royal Geographical Society could not mend.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

A bird sings, a child prattles, but it is the same hymn; hymn indistinct, inarticulate, but full of profound meaning.
      - Victor Hugo

Instinct harmonizes the interior of animals, as religion does the interior of men.
      - Hermann Jacobi

'Tis thus we heed no instincts but our own,
  Believe no evil, till the evil's done.
    [Fr., Nous n'ecoutons d'instincts que ceux qui sont les notres.
      Et ne croyons le mal que quand il est venu.]
      - Jean de la Fontaine, Fables (I, 8)

A fierce unrest seethes at the core
  Of all existing things:
    It was the eager wish to soar
      That gave the gods their wings.
        . . . .
          There throbs through all the worlds that are
            This heart-beat not and strong,
              And shaken systems, star by star,
                Awake and glow in song.
      - Donald Marquis (Donald Robert Perry Marquis) ("Don Marquis"),
        Unrest

All our first movements are good, generous, heroical; reflection weakens and kills them.
      - Aime Martin

Great thoughts, great feelings, came to them,
  Like instincts, unawares.
      - Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton,
        The Men of Old

The active part of man consists of powerful instincts.
      - Francis W. Newman

The instinct of brutes and insects can be the effect of nothing else than the wisdom and skill of a powerful, ever-living agent.
      - Sir Isaac Newton

An instinct is a propensity prior to experience and independent of instruction.
      - William Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa

And reason raise o'er instinct as you can, in this 'tis God directs, in that 'tis man.
      - Alexander Pope

Who taught the nations of the field and wood
  To shun their poison and to choose their food.
      - Alexander Pope


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