From Wikiquote
(Redirected from Instincts)
Jump to: navigation, search

Instinct or innate behavior is the inherent inclination of a living organism toward a particular behavior.


  • Reasoning at every step he treads,
    Man yet mistakes his way,
    While meaner creatures, whom instinct leads,
    Are rarely known to stray.
  • Instinct is intelligence incapable of self-consciousness.
    • John Sterling, "Thoughts and Images", Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (1838), Vol. XLIV, p. 201; Essays and Tales (1848), Vol. II, p. 146.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 397-98.
  • Instinct is untaught ability.
  • Ein guter Mensch in seinem dunkeln Drange
    Ist sich des rechten Weges wohl bewusst.
    • A good man, through obscurest aspirations,
      Has still an instinct of the one true way.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Prolog im Himmel, Der Herr, line 88.
  • Nous n'écoutons d'instincts que ceux qui sont les nôtres.
    Et ne croyons le mal que quand il est venu.
    • 'Tis thus we heed no instincts but our own,
      Believe no evil, till the evil's done.
    • 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 hot and strong,
    And shaken systems, star by star,
    Awake and glow in song.
  • But honest instinct comes a volunteer;
    Sure never to o'er-shoot, but just to hit,
    While still too wide or short in human wit.
  • How instinct varies in the grov'lling swine,
    Compar'd, half-reasoning elephant, with thine!
    'Twixt that and reason what a nice barrier!
    Forever sep'rate, yet forever near!
  • Instinct and reason how can we divide?
    'Tis the fool's ignorance, and the pedant's pride.
    • Matthew Prior, Solomon on the Vices of the World, Book I, line 231.
  • A few strong instincts and a few plain rules.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about:
Look up instinct in Wiktionary, the free dictionary