Peculiar to Konrad Lorenz’s view of instinctive behavior is his strong innate-learned dichotomy. He claimed that there are neither ontogenetic nor phylogenetic transitions between instinctive and experience-based behavior components, thus contradicting all former accounts of instinct. The present study discusses how Lorenz came to hold this controversial position by examining the history of Lorenz’s early theoretical development in the crucial period from 1931 to 1937, taking relevant influences into account. Lorenz’s intellectual development is viewed as being guided by four (...) theoretical and practical commitments as to how to study and explain behavior. These four factors, which were part of the general approach of Lorenz but not of other animal psychologists, were crucial in bringing about his specific position on instinctive behavior. (shrink)
In addition to being a founder of American pragmatism, Charles Sanders Peirce was a scientist and an empiricist. A core aspect of his thoroughgoing empiricism was a mindset that treats all attitudes as revisable. His fallibilism seems to require us to constantly seek out new information, and to not be content holding any beliefs uncritically. At the same time, Peirce often states that common sense has an important role to play in both scientific and vital inquiry, and that there cannot (...) be any “direct profit in going behind common sense.” Our question is the following: alongside a scientific mindset and a commitment to the method of inquiry, where does common sense fit in? Peirce does at times directly address common sense; however, those explicit engagements are relatively infrequent. In this paper, we argue that getting a firm grip on the role of common sense in Peirce’s philosophy requires a three-pronged investigation, targeting his treatment of common sense alongside his more numerous remarks on intuition and instinct. By excavating and developing Peirce’s concepts of instinct and intuition, we show that his respect for common sense coheres with his insistence on the methodological superiority of inquiry. We conclude that Peirce shows us the way to a distinctive epistemic position balancing fallibilism and anti-scepticism, a pragmatist common sense position of considerable interest for contemporary epistemology given current interest in the relation of intuition and reason. (shrink)
For both Jung and Patañjali our human desire to understand “God” is as real as any other instinct. Jung’s and Patañjali’s models further align in their emphasis on the teleological directedness of the psyche, and their aim at reconciling science and religious experience. As an atheist, Freud was in disagreement, but all three scholars align in their emphasis on the study of affect as an empirical means of entering into the psyche. For Patañjali, the nadir of affect lays in (...) transcending sorrow and stabilizing the mind. Mental stability in turn produces the capacity to fully differentiate between the binding states of mind, which lead to human suffering, and the experience of pure consciousness resting in authentic nature. Contemporary brain research indicates that conscious states are inherently affective—further, the upper brainstem is intrinsically conscious whereas the cortex is not; it derives its consciousness from the brainstem. Understanding consciousness, then, may have less to do with reflective cognition than with instinct. This research spotlights the phenomena of affect, as it appears to not only draw us back to the highly significant rupture of the Freud Jung dialogue, but also forward into formulating a contemporary clinical picture of the drive towards (or away from) religious experience. (shrink)
The concept of instinct espoused in psychology in the early 20th century and the contemporary concept of psychological adaptation invite comparison. Definitions of both employ the notions of inheritance, selection, functional specificity, and species typicality. This article examines how psychologists before the rise of behaviourism sought to establish instinct as a psychological phenomenon. One of the consequences of doing so was a decoupling of psychological and physiological forms of instinct. This led to a failure of constraint in (...) the usage of the term instinct and the abandonment of the project to establish it as foundational. I argue that the notion of psychological adaptations at the heart of contemporary evolutionary psychology as espoused by John Tooby and Leda Cosmides invites similar difficulties and may come to share a similar fate. (shrink)
Nam-In Lee’s impressive study of “instinct” in Husserl1 gives a new sense to Husserl’s self-description of his work as a preoccupation with beginnings (see p. x) because it seeks not only to integrate the theme of instinct systematically into Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology but to demonstrate that it has a fundamental position. I believe the author has successfully demonstrated his contention that other students of Husserl who have treated the theme of instinct as a marginal consideration failed to (...) see that Husserl’s genetic phenomenology requires the theory of instinct as its fundamental ingredient (Urstück, 10). The theme of instinct therefore informs the sense of Husserl’s later understanding of transcendental subjectivity and monadology. The book is so packed with discussions that the inevitable omissions of a review run the risk of distorting the merits of the work. (shrink)
According to Marin Cureau de La Chambre—steering a middleway between the Aristotelian and the Cartesian conception of the soul—everything that lives cognizes and everything that cognizes is alive. Cureau sticks with the general tripart distinction of vegetative, sensitive, and intellectual soul. Each part of the soul has its own cognition. Cognition is the way in which living beings regulate bodily equilibirum and environmental navigation. This regulative activity is gouverned by acquired or by innate images. Natural cognition (or instinct) is (...) cognition by innate images only. Cureau develops a highly originel theory of natural (or 'specialized') instinct. His theory attempts to explain five features of instinct (innateness, specialization, species-specifitiy, coerciveness, teleological nature). According to my interpretation, Cureau proposes a species of what is called a 'teleosemantic theory' of innate cognition. (shrink)
Introduction -- Landscape and longing -- Art and human nature -- What is art? -- But they don't have our concept of art -- Art and natural selection -- The uses of fiction -- Art and human self-domestication -- Intention, forgery, dada : three aesthetic problems -- The contingency of aesthetic values -- Greatness in the arts.
I examine and resolve an exegetical dichotomy between two main interpretations of Peirce’s theory of abduction, namely, the Generative Interpretation and the Pursuitworthiness Interpretation. According to the former, abduction is the instinctive process of generating explanatory hypotheses through a mental faculty called insight. According to the latter, abduction is a rule-governed procedure for determining the relative pursuitworthiness of available hypotheses and adopting the worthiest one for further investigation—such as empirical tests—based on economic considerations. It is shown that the Generative Interpretation (...) is inconsistent with a fundamental fact of logic for Peirce—i.e., abduction is a kind of inference—and the Pursuitworthiness Interpretation is flawed and inconsistent with Peirce’s naturalistic explanation for the possibility of science and his view about the limitations of classical scientific method. Changing the exegetical locus classicus from the logical form of abduction to insight and economy of research, I argue for the Unified Interpretation according to which abduction includes both instinctive hypotheses-generation and rule-governed hypotheses-ranking. I show that the Unified Interpretation is immune to the objections raised successfully against the Generative and the Pursuitworthiness interpretations. (shrink)
Charles Sanders Peirce is regarded as the founding father of pragmatism and a key figure in the development of American philosophy, yet his practical philosophy remains under-acknowledged and misinterpreted. In this book, Richard Atkins argues that Peirce did in fact have developed and systematic views on ethics, on religion, and on how to live, and that these views are both plausible and relevant. Drawing on a controversial lecture that Peirce delivered in 1898 and related works, he examines Peirce's theories of (...) sentiment and instinct, his defence of the rational acceptability of religious belief, his analysis of self-controlled action, and his pragmatic account of practical ethics, showing how he developed his views and how they interact with those of his great contemporary William James. This study will be essential for scholars of Peirce and for those interested in American philosophy, pragmatism, the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of action, and ethics. (shrink)
The need to create art is found in every human society, manifest in many different ways across many different cultures. Is this universal need rooted in our evolutionary past? The Art Instinct reveals that it is, combining evolutionary psychology with aesthetics to shed new light on fascinating questions about the nature of art.
This article analyzes three approaches to resolving the classical Meno paradox, or its variant, the learning paradox, emphasizing Charles S. Peirce’s notion of abduction. Abduction provides a way of dissecting those processes where something new, or conceptually more complex than before, is discovered or learned. In its basic form, abduction is a “weak” form of inference, i.e., it gives only tentative suggestions for further investigation. But it is not too weak if various sources of clues and restrictions on the abductive (...) search are taken into account. We present three, complementary versions of abduction: as a sort of guessing instinct or expert-like intuition, where unconscious clues are important; as a form of inference, where a strategic point of view is essential; and as a part of distributed cognition and mediated activity, where the interaction with the material, social, and cultural environment is emphasized. Our starting point is Peirce’s own notion of abduction, but we broaden the perspective, especially to the direction of distributed cognition. (shrink)
The need to create art is found in every human society, manifest in many different ways across many different cultures. Is this universal need rooted in our evolutionary past? The Art Instinct reveals that it is, combining evolutionary psychology with aesthetics to shed new light on fascinating questions about the nature of art.
Stephen Darwall notes that for Cudworth the fundamental ethical motive is love, but that the Cambridge Platonist tells us little about love’s character, aim and object. In this article I examine Cudworth’s doctrine of ‘superintellectual instinct’ as a natural love for or inclination to the good as it takes shape in two of his unpublished freewill manuscripts. I show that in these manuscripts he assumes a threefold model of how this higher love as a natural or ‘created’ grace fits (...) into the overall moral life of a person, together with human free will and special grace. I argue that although Cudworth adopts an Origenist synergistic position on the question of the relationship between grace and free will, stating that special grace is a necessary condition of salvation conjointly with free will and creation grace, in reality he struggles to show the strict necessity of special grace. (shrink)
At the beginning of the 1950s most students of animal behavior in Britain saw the instinct concept developed by Konrad Lorenz in the 1930s as the central theoretical construct of the new ethology. In the mid 1950s J.B.S. Haldane made substantial efforts to undermine Lorenz''s status as the founder of the new discipline, challenging his priority on key ethological concepts. Haldane was also critical of Lorenz''s sharp distinction between instinctive and learnt behavior. This was inconsistent with Haldane''s account of (...) the evolution of language, and, according to Haldane, inconsistent with elementary genetics. British attitudes to the instinct concept changed dramatically in the wake of Daniel S. Lehraman''s 1953 critique of Lorenz, and by the 1960s Lorenz drew a clear distinction between his own views and those of the English-speaking ethologists. The inconsistencies between Lorenz''s ideas and the trends in contemporary evolutionary genetics that are reflected in Haldane''s critiques may help to explain why the Lorenzian instinct concept was unable to maintain itself in Britian. (shrink)
The nature of religion -- The moral instinct -- The evolution of religious behavior -- Music, dance, and trance -- Ancestral religion -- The transformation -- The tree of religion -- Morality, trade, and trust -- The ecology of religion -- Religion and warfare -- Religion and nation -- The future of religion.
In part 1 of Enquiry 12, Hume presents a skeptical argument against belief in external existence. The argument involves a perceptual relativity argument that seems to conclude straightaway the double existence of objects and perceptions, where objects cause and resemble perceptions. In Treatise 1.4.2, Hume claimed that the belief in double existence arises from imaginative invention, not reasoning about perceptual relativity. I dissolve this tension by distinguishing the effects of natural instinct and showing that some ofthese effects supplement the (...) Enquiry’s perceptual relativity argument. The Enquiry’s skeptical argument thus reveals the fundamental involvement of natural instinct in any belief in external existence. (shrink)
The capacity to engage with art is a human universal present in all cultures and just about every individual human. This indicates that this capacity is evolved. In this Critical Notice of Denis Dutton's The Art Instinct, I discuss various evolutionary scenarios and their consequences. Dutton and I both reject the "spandrel" approach that originates from the work of Gould and Lewontin. Dutton proposes, following work of Geoffrey Miller, that art is sexually selected--that art-production is a sign of a (...) fit genome in males. I argue that while assortative mating may well have had a role in the evolution of "the art instinct", group selection is a better explanation. I also take issue with Dutton's "cluster concept" approach to defining art, and argue that it is a universal and essential characteristic of art that it is appreciated both for what it expresses and for the way that it expresses. It thus requires a reflexive capacity that is not operative in the appreciation of sport spectacles and pornography. (shrink)
Might we have an instinctive tendency to perform helpful actions? This paper explores a model under development in cognitive neuroscience that enables us to understand what instinctive, helpful actions might look like. The account that emerges puts some pressure on key concepts in the philosophical understanding of folk psychology. In developing the contrast, a notion of embodied beliefs is introduced; it arguably fits folk conceptions better than philosophical ones. One upshot is that Humean insights into the role of empathy and (...)instinct in the production of helpful actions are affirmed. (shrink)
In late September 1838, Darwin read Malthus's Essay on Population, which left him with “a theory by which to work.”115 Yet he waited some twenty years to publish his discovery in the Origin of Species. Those interested in the fine grain of Darwin's development have been curious about this delay. One recent explanation has his hand stayed by fear of reaction to the materialist implications of linking man with animals. “Darwin sensed,” according to Howard Gruber, “that some would object to (...) seeing rudiments of human mentality in animals, while others would recoil at the idea of remnants of animality in man.”116 With this link closed, Darwin hung the materialist chain around his own neck, where it rested most uncomfortably. Stephen Gould, supporting Gruber's argument, finds evidence for this reconstruction in Darwin's M and N notebooks, whichinclude many statements showing that he espoused but feared to expose something he perceived as far more heretical than evolution itself: philosophical materialism-the postulate that matter is the stuff of all existence and that all mental and spiritual phenomena are its by-products. No notion could be more upsetting to the deepest traditions of Western thought than the statement that mind-however complex and powerful-is simply a product of brain.117The proferred hypothesis suggests, then, that Darwin was acutely sensible of the social consequences of equating men with animals and therefore mind with brian, and that he thus shied from publically revealing his views until the intellectual climate became more tolerant.The history I have examined makes this hypothesis implausible. Even if Darwin warily explored the implications of his emerging theory in his notebooks, his subsequent study of Fleming, Wells, Brougham, and Kirby should have quieted any trepidation. If these natural theologians did not flinch at seeing human reason prefigured in the mind of a worm, should Darwin have? Moreover, he recognized in his M notebook that the thesis of evolutionary continuity between men and animals did not require an explicit avowal of his conviction that brain was the agent of thought.118 And in any case, his materialism was of a rather benign sort; at least he so expressed it in an annotation in Abercrombie's Inquiries concerning the Intellectual Powers (1838): “By materialism I mean, merely the intimate connection of thought with form of brain — like kind of attraction with nature of element.”119 This belief would have held little terror for British intellectuals, who were quite familiar — some even comfortable-with Locke's anti-Cartesian argument that there was nothing contradictory in supposing God could make matter to think.120 Finally, even if the intellectual atmosphere of early nineteenth-century Britain were inhospitable to Darwin's brand of materialism, there is little reason to believe he breathed a different air at mid-century while preparing his manuscript.That Darwin should not have feared suspicions of materialism, of course, does not mean that he did not. But I think there were other, more persistent sources of anxiety that kept him from rushing to publish: namely, the several conceptual obstacles he had to overcome if his theory of evolution by natural selection were to be made scientifically acceptable. Prominent among these were the problems surrounding his changing notions of instinct.The inertia of his older ideas about instinct at first made it hard for Darwin to gauge how far the theory of natural selection might be applied to behavior. By the early 1840s he finally felt ready to meet the challenge of the natural theologians by providing a naturalistic explanation for the wonderful instincts of animals. In his “Essays” of 1842 and 1844 one sort of instinct is, however, not considered-that of neuter insects. Yet Darwin seems to have appreciated the difficulties such instincts entailed at least by 1843, when he read Kirby and Spence. He simply required time to work out a solution to a problem he initially perceived as “fatal to my whole theory.” Even while writing the “Species Book” in the summer of 1857, he was still juggling several possible solutions compatible with natural selection. It was only a short time before he actually turned to work on the Origin of Species that he appears to have settled on a single explanation for the difficulties posed by the instincts of worker bees and ants. The force of his theory of community selection snapped the last critical support of the creationist hypothesis and, conveniently enough, also fractured the generalized Lamarckian account of the evolution of behavior. These results were worth waiting for. (shrink)
Social behaviour is but an expression of instinctive mechanisms whereby the aggressive instinct is of particular importance, having given rise to most of the complexity of social behaviour through processes of phylogenetic and cultural ritualisation. The role of the aggressive instinct is to dynamically maintain the ranking order in a group, and much of social interaction is concerned with this, including monetary exchange. What is certain, is that with the elimination of aggression, … the tackling of a task (...) or problem, the self-respect [in] everything that a man does from morning till evening, from the morning shave to the sublimest artistic or scientific creation, would lose all impetus; everything associated with ambition, ranking order, and countless other equally indispensable behaviour patterns would probably also disappear from human life. — Konrad Lorenz (1963/2002, p. 269) (Published Online April 5 2006). (shrink)
Nietzsche’s critique of the will to truth, and, more specifically, the metaphysical tradition, is inextricable from both his philosophy of language and his turn to physiology. Though the way in which Nietzsche conceived of the intertwinement of language, reason, and the body developed through the course of his philosophical maturation, it is nonetheless a recurrent motif spanning the breadth of his oeuvre. As the editors state in their introduction to Nietzsche on Instinct and Language (NIL), the volume aims at (...) being a “fresh look” at Nietzsche’s repeated attempts to bridge these domains (xv). Beyond this singular and broad explicit aim, however, the volume intimates a number of other more specific aspirations. .. (shrink)
Denis Dutton’s The Art Instinct succeeds admirably in showing that it is possible to think about art from a biological point of view, and this is a significant achievement, given that resistance to the idea that cultural phenomena have biological underpinnings remains widespread in many academic disciplines. However, his account of the origins of our artistic impulses and the far-reaching conclusions he draws from that account are not persuasive. This article points out a number of problems: in particular, problems (...) with Dutton’s appeal to sexual selection, with his discussion of the adaptation/by-product distinction and its significance, and with drawing normative conclusions from evolutionary hypotheses. (shrink)
Teaching allows human culture to exist and to develop. Despite its significance, it has not been studied in depth by the cognitive neurosciences. Here we propose two hypotheses to boost the claim that teaching is a human instinct, and to expand our understanding of how teaching occurs as a dynamic bi-directional relation within the teacher-learner dyad. First, we explore how children naturally use ostensive communication when teaching; allowing them to be set in the emitter side of natural pedagogy. Then, (...) we hypothesize that the capacity to teach may precede to even have a mature metacognition and, we argue that a teacher will benefit from the interaction with her student, improving her understanding on both contents of knowledge: her own and her student’s. Thus, we propose that teaching may be the driving force of metacognitive development and may be occurring as an instinct from very early ages. (shrink)
The paper deals with the role of assent and instinct in the process of cognition. The author shows, that the Stoic instinct is a dynamic aspect in the processes of cognition, decision making and action, its consequence being at the same time the assent, i. e. the approval of a given descriptive or prescriptive proposition as a true one. Tha paper wants to stress e remarcable rationalistic character of the Stoic epistemology - the only constitutive elemnent of the (...)instinct is, at least in early Stoicism, the rational capacity of the soul. The three Stoic levels of cognition: opinion, understanding and cognition are intoruced as related to various intensities of assent given to the particual meanings of the proposition. (shrink)
The heart of Richard Kenneth Atkins’s Peirce and the Conduct of Life: Sentiment and Instinct in Ethics and Religion is an interpretation and defense of Peirce’s sentimental conservatism, as well as an extension of that idea to Peirce’s philosophy of religion and to the casuistic approach to practical ethics. “A Defense of Peirce’s Sentimental Conservatism” is the explicit title of the second of the book’s six chapters. But the only chapter in which Peirce’s sentimental conservatism does not itself appear (...) to play an explicit role is chapter five, “Self-Control and Moral Responsibility”, which is perhaps the chapter that reads most as a stand-alone work (even though the first chapter is the... (shrink)
The present study discusses the early theoretical development of Konrad Lorenz in the period from 1930 to 1937. In this period Lorenz developed his position on instinct in the first place, and thus his theoretical views were subject to change. Despite this change, the paper points to relatively stable features of Lorenz’s approach, which emerged relatively soon in his scientific career and guided his theoretical development in this and beyond this early phase.
Pour prouver que l'Instinct est une réalité scientifiquement établie, l'auteur procéde comme suit. Répondant à ceux qui prétendent qu'il n'a jamais été possible d'en donner une définition satisfaisante, il cite trois formules qui décrivent avec toute la clarté désirable les conditions observables de certains comportements nettement innés et spécifiques, instinctifs donc; Il réfute les raisonnements d'auteurs qui, dissimulant l'action de l'Instinct derriére le rôle rempli par des facultés auxiliaires, mémoire, intelligence, ont cru par cet artifice pouvoir prétendre que (...) „l'Instinct n'est rien“. Il analyse des raisonnements qui ont été élaborés pour démontrer que certains Instincts, considérés comme degrés inférieurs et transitoires, sont pratiquement aussi savants, aussi parfaits que ceux acceptés comme tels! Il cite des faits qui montrent que des Insectes vivant à l'état larvaire dans des troncs d'arbres, prévoient, au moment de se chrysalider, quelles seront leur forme et leurs aptitudes, et agissent en conséquence, bien que rien n'ait pu les éclairer à cet égard; Il montre que l'Instinct n'est pas un simple réflexe, qu'il ne dépend pas des sécrétions hormonales et, par l'exemple des Canaris et des Castors du Rhône; il fait voir qu'il est indélébilement inscrit dans la mentalité de l'espéce, et peut se réactiver aprés avoir été inutilisé par des centaines de générations. Il établit enfin que, pour agir comme ils le font, les Animaux doivent être dotés d'une science innée, que rien dans leur passé individuel ne leur enseigne et que l'Instinct est donc, dans sa nature intime, la connaissance héréditaire, virtuelle peut-être, d'un plan de vie spécifique.To prove that instinct is a scientifically established fact, the author proceeds as follows. Replying to the argument that it has never been possible to give a satisfactory definition of instinct, he quotes three formulae stating clearly the observable conditions of modes of behaviour which are incontestably innate and specific and therefore instinctive. He refutes the captious arguments of authors who, concealing the action of instinct behind the part played by auxiliary faculties , try to demonstrate by this artifice that “instinct is nothing” . He criticizes the arguments adduced to demonstrate that certain instincts, considered to be inferior and transitory stages of development are practically as adequate and as skilful as those considered perfect. He quotes facts showing that larvae living in trunks of trees at pupation, act in accordance with their future shape and aptitudes — as if they could foresee these — though nothing could have instructed them in this matter. He demonstrates that instinct is not a simple physiological reflex, that it does not depend on hormonal secretions and, by the example of the Canary-birds and the Beaver , he shows that instinct is ineffaceably stamped in the species mentality, and can reappear after a period of inactivity of several hundreds of generations. Finally he demonstrates that, to be able to act as they do, the animals must be endowed with an innate knowledge which nothing in their individual past can have taught them, and that instinct essentially is: the hereditary knowledge of a specific mode of life.Zum Beweis, dass der Instinkt ein wissenschaftlich begründeter Begriff ist, geht der Autor in folgender Weise vor. Antwortlich des Argumentes, dass es niemals gelungen ist eine befriedigende Definition des Instinktbegriffes anzugeben, gibt der Autor drei Zitate, woraus ganz deutlich die wahrnehmbaren Verhaltensumstände hervorgehen, welche unstreitig angeboren und spezifisch und deshalb instinktiv sind. Er lehnt die Auseinandersetzungen ab von Autoren, welche unter Zurücksetzung der Instinktsaktivität hinter der Funktion der nebensächlichen Aktivitäten wie Gedächtnis und Intelligenz, mittels dieser Manipulation zu beweisen versuchen dass der Instinkt nichts ist. . Er kritisiert die Argumente aufgeführt zum Beweis, dass gewisse Instinkte, betrachtet als subordinierte und vorübergehende Entwicklungstufen, genau so geeignet und fähig sind wie die als perfekt betrachteten Instinkte. Er führt Tatsachen auf, welche zeigen, dass Larven welche sich in Baumstrünken aufhalten sich bei der Verpuppung benehmen in Übereinstimmung mit ihrer künftigen Erscheinungsform und Lebensweise, alsob sie es vorhersehen könnten — obwohl gar keine Instruierung stattgefunden haben könnte. Er zeigt, dass der Instinkt nicht ein einfacher physiologischer Reflex ist, dass er unabhängig ist von Hormonalregulierungen, und mit den Kanarienvögeln und Bibern , als Beispiele zeigt er, dass der Instinkt unauslöschlich eingeprägt ist in der Mentalität der Art, und wieder erscheinen kann nach einer Periode von Inaktivierung von verschiedenen Hunderten von Generationen. Schliesslich konstatiert er, dass die Tiere, dank der Zielstrebigkeit der Handlungen, ausgestattet sind mit einer angeborenen Kenntnis, welche Kenntnis nicht in ihrem vorübergegangenen individuellen Leben angelehrt sein kann, und dass der Instinkt wesentlich ist: die erblich determinierte Kenntnis eines speziellen Lebensplants. (shrink)
Language serves many purposes in our individual lives and our varied interpersonal interactions. Daniel Everett's claim that language primarily emerges from an “interactional instinct“ and not a classic “language instinct“ gives proper weight to the importance of coordinated communication in meeting our adaptive needs. Yet the argument that language is a “cultural tool“, motivated by an underlying “instinct“, does not adequately explain the complex, yet complementary nature of both linguistic regularities and variations in everyday speech. Our alternative (...) suggestion is that language use, and coordinated communication more generally, is an emergent product of human self-organization processes. Both broad regularities and specific variations in linguistic structure and behavior can be accounted for by self-organizational processes that operate without explicit internal rules, blueprints, or mental representations. A major implication of this view is that both linguistic patterns and behaviors, within and across speakers, emerge from the dynamical interactions of brain, body, and world, which gives rise to highly context-sensitive and varied linguistic performances. (shrink)
This article questions whether philosophical considerations play any substantial role in the actual process of scientific research. Using examples mostly from the nineteenth century, it suggests that scientists generally choose their basic theoretical orientation, and their research strategies, on the basis of non-rationalized feelings which might be described as instinct or intuition. In one case where methodological principles were the driving force (Charles Lyell's uniformitarian geology), the effect was counterproductive.
‘How very Lacanian’, psychoanalyst Milena Gardosh observes at onepoint in Michael Caton-Jones’ Basic Instinct 2 : a line that would become notorious.1The question is: just how Lacanian is Basic Instinct 2?
Applying the reciprocity instinct to monetary transactions implies that the reaction to monetary debt and monetary credit are similar. However, evidence suggests an asymmetry. I suggest that the “autonomy instinct” fits better with human behavior towards money. I show that people value autonomy, and I show how money can serve this instinct. (Published Online April 5 2006).
The goal of this research is to explore implicit and explicit processes in shaping an individual’s characteristic behavioral patterns, that is, personality. The questions addressed are how psychological processes may be separated into implicit and explicit types, and how such a separation figures into personality. In particular, it focuses on the role of instinct and intuition in determining personality. This paper argues that personality may be fundamentally based on instincts resulting from basic human motivation, along with related processes, within (...) a comprehensive cognitive architecture. This approach is implemented as a computational model. Various tests and simulations show that this model captures major personality traits and accounts for empirical data. The work shows how a cognitive architecture with the implicit–explicit distinction may capture instinct, intuition, and personality. (shrink)
Denis Dutton died a day or two after Christmas in 2010. I had the good fortune to meet him in February 2010, when I participated in an Author-Meets-Critics session on The Art Instinct at the American Philosophical Association, Central Division. (The Critical Notice that follows is a development of my comments there.) Dennis was a passionate, intelligent, influential, and well connected man, who had a vigorous philosophical mind, fully on display in The Art Instinct. Outside of academic philosophy, (...) he was famous as founder of the Arts and Letters Daily, the pre-eminent content-aggregating blog for intellectuals. It is in that capacity that he was obituarised in many of the world’s leading English-language .. (shrink)
Language serves many purposes in our individual lives and our varied interpersonal interactions. Daniel Everett’s claim that language primarily emerges from an “interactional instinct” and not a classic “language instinct” gives proper weight to the importance of coordinated communication in meeting our adaptive needs. Yet the argument that language is a “cultural tool”, motivated by an underlying “instinct”, does not adequately explain the complex, yet complementary nature of both linguistic regularities and variations in everyday speech. Our alternative (...) suggestion is that language use, and coordinated communication more generally, is an emergent product of human self-organization processes. Both broad regularities and specific variations in linguistic structure and behavior can be accounted for by self-organizational processes that operate without explicit internal rules, blueprints, or mental representations. A major implication of this view is that both linguistic patterns and behaviors, within and across speakers, emerge from the dynamical interactions of brain, body, and world, which gives rise to highly context-sensitive and varied linguistic performances. (shrink)
Responding to the rash of books supporting a "new atheism" in recent years, some excellent rebuttals and refutations by Berlinski, Novak, Hart, Day, and others have also been published. The present book, however, is not a continuation of these critical salvos against the likes of Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, and Harris, but engages in a fresh reexamination of several important aspects of the "God-question," along with an exploration of the theory of the "faith-instinct"---a theory that emerges from a respectably long (...) tradition, but in recent years has been largely relegated to the sidelines in theology and philosophy. In the first chapter, scientific, metaphysical, and theological approaches are utilized and integrated in relationship to the question of God's existence. The second chapter is devoted to the "problem of evil," differentiated into the special categories often lumped into that all-too-generic term---moral evils, natural evils, suffering as an evil. Chapter 3 concerns the obvious follow-up question concerning what sort of characteristics, personal or otherwise, we can attribute to God---going beyond the question of God's mere "existence," even if and when we are intellectually convinced of this existence. In the second half of the book, the various meanings of "faith" are considered; and the apparent discrepancy of many New Testament descriptions of faith with the conventional Catholic and Protestant concepts of faith is investigated. Some "family resemblances" of supernatural faith seem to emerge. Then a monograph by Tubingen theologian Max Seckler, Instinkt und Glaubenswille, which comments on thought-provoking texts concerning a "faith-instinct" in the works of Thomas Aquinas, is considered; Seckler brings out the philosophical and theological basis for this concept, as well as its reverberations for modern theology. The theory of a faith-instinct, however, leads to the question of the proper and improper, real or substitute, "objects," of the proposed instinct. Finally, if this instinct is, as hypothesized, implanted in human nature itself, for all places and all times, what is the function of the various religions in "activating" or placing obstacles to, the activation of this instinct? How are "false prophets," who may be instrumental in redirecting or misdirecting this instinct, to be recognized? Is faith bolstered or hindered by miracles---do miracles have any important relationship to faith? The book ends with a final consideration of the probable mental outlook of the atheist confronted with claims by theists of varying persuasions. (shrink)
O conceito freudiano de "impulso", ou "instinto" (Trieb), é reconhecidamente um dos conceitos mais fundamentais da psicanálise. No entanto, seu sentido ainda é objeto de controvérsia. Originalmente definido por Freud em um sentido biológico ou quase biológico, sua recepção em muitas das diversas tradições pós-freudianas tendeu, frequentemente, a recusar essa filiação epistemológica inicial. Um dos sinais dessa reorientação doutrinária é a recusa da tradução de "Trieb" por "instinto" e a preferência pelo neologismo "pulsão", de origem francesa e comum na literatura (...) psicanalítica escrita em várias das línguas neolatinas, inclusive em português. O objetivo deste artigo é criticar essa tendência. Para tanto, são examinados os principais argumentos normalmente apresentados contra uma visão biológica do Trieb freudiano, a saber, 1) a alternativa terminológica entre os termos alemães "Trieb" e "Instinkt" e o modo como estes são utilizados por Freud; 2) a crítica freudiana de uma redução da sexualidade humana à função reprodutiva; 3) o conceito de "Todestrieb" ("instinto de morte" ou "pulsão de morte") formulado por Freud por volta de 1920 e central na etapa final de seu pensamento. Procura-se argumentar que essas formulações não impedem uma interpretação biológica do conceito de "Trieb". Essa interpretação, por sua vez, abre uma via de diálogo entre a psicanálise e a biologia, a qual é também enfática e explicitamente defendida por Freud. Esta primeira parte do trabalho introduz a questão e também aborda o problema da relação entre sexualidade e reprodução na psicanálise e na biologia. Uma segunda parte, a ser publicada em uma próxima edição de Scientiae Studia, será dedicada ao problema da agressividade e da autodestrutividade nessas duas áreas do conhecimento. Freud's concept of "drive" or "instinct" ("Trieb") has been widely acknowledged as one of the most fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis. However, its meaning is still a matter of controversy. It was originally defined by Freud in a biological or quasi-biological sense, but its reception in many different post-Freudian traditions has often tended to reject this early epistemological affiliation. One sign of this theoretical reorientation has been to refuse the translation of "Trieb" as "instinct" and to favor instead the neologism "pulsion" ("drive"), which has French origins and became common in the psychoanalytic literature written in many neo-Latin languages, including Portuguese. The objective of this paper is to criticize this trend. For that, the main arguments usually presented against a biological view of Freud's "Trieb" are discussed, namely: (1) the terminological alternative between the German words "Trieb" and "Instinkt" and how these terms are employed by Freud; (2) Freud's critique of the reduction of human sexuality to the reproductive function; (3) the concept of "Todestrieb" ("death instinct" or "death drive"), formulated by Freud around 1920 and central in the last stage of his thought. It is argued that these formulations do not preclude a biological interpretation of the concept of "Trieb". Such interpretation, in turn, opens the way for dialogue between psychoanalysis and biology, a dialogue which was also emphatically and explicitly supported by Freud. This first part of the paper is an introduction to this issue, and approaches the problem of the relationship between sexuality and reproduction in psychoanalysis and biology. A second part will be published in a forthcoming issue of Scientiae Studia; it will be dedicated to the problem of aggression and self-destructiveness in these two fields of knowledge. (shrink)
In the past 20 years, the concept of instinct has been discussed in respect to various disciplines such as evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology, linguistics, ethics, aesthetics, and phenomenology, etc. However, the meaning of instinct still remains unclarified in many respects. In order to overcome this situation, it is necessary to elucidate the genuine meaning of instinct so that the discussion of instinct in these disciplines can be carried out systematically. The objective of this paper is to (...) establish the genuine concept of instinct on the basis of a phenomenological criticism of A. Gehlen’s theory of instinct-reduction. Moreover, it seeks to show that this concept is the genetic origin of the embodied consciousness. According to Gehlen, instinct is defined as Instinkthandlung. However, this definition of instinct is problematic in the formal logical sense, since the definiendum is already included in the definiens. Moreover, it faces different kinds of serious material problems. Criticizing Gehlen’s theory of instinct systematically, I will show that instinct should be redefined as “the innate living force that urges a species of living being to pursue a certain kind of object,” and I will attempt to clarify this definition of instinct in a more detailed manner by offering 11 points. Thereafter, I will argue that Gehlen’s theory of instinct-reduction has to be replaced by the theory of instinct-enlargement in human beings. Finally, I will point out that the genuine concept of instinct is nothing other than the genetic origin of the embodied consciousness. (shrink)
O conceito freudiano de impulso ou instinto é reconhecidamente um dos conceitos mais fundamentais da psicanálise. No entanto, seu sentido ainda é objeto de controvérsia. Originalmente definido por Freud num sentido biológico ou quase biológico, sua recepção em muitas das diversas tradições pós-freudianas tendeu, frequentemente, a recusar essa filiação epistemológica inicial. Um dos sinais dessa reorientação doutrinária é a recusa da tradução de Trieb por "instinto" e a preferência pelo neologismo "pulsão", de origem francesa e comum na literatura psicanalítica escrita (...) em várias das línguas neolatinas, inclusive em português. O objetivo deste artigo é criticar essa tendência. Para tanto, são examinados os principais argumentos normalmente apresentados contra uma visão biológica do Trieb freudiano, a saber: 1) a alternativa terminológica entre os termos alemães Trieb e Instinkt e o modo como estes são utilizados por Freud; 2) a crítica freudiana de uma redução da sexualidade humana à função reprodutiva; 3) o conceito de Todestrieb formulado por Freud por volta de 1920 e central na etapa final de seu pensamento. Procura-se argumentar que essas formulações não impedem uma interpretação biológica do conceito de Trieb. Essa interpretação, por sua vez, abre uma via de diálogo entre a psicanálise e a biologia, a qual é também enfática e explicitamente defendida por Freud. Uma série de formulações - oriundas, sobretudo, do campo da biologia evolucionária de orientação neodarwinista e da sociobiologia - são discutidas, com o intuito de argumentar pela sua compatibilidade, se não pela sua convergência, com as teses freudianas. A primeira parte deste trabalho introduziu a questão e também abordou o problema da relação entre sexualidade e reprodução na psicanálise e na biologia. Esta segunda parte está dedicada ao problema da agressividade e da autodestrutividade nessas duas áreas do conhecimento. Freud's concept of drive or instinct has been widely acknowledged as one of psychoanalysis' most fundamental concepts. However, its meaning is still a matter of controversy. It was originally defined by Freud in a biological or quasi-biological sense, but its reception in many different post-Freudian traditions has often tended to reject this early epistemological affiliation. One sign of this theoretical reorientation has been to refuse the translation of Trieb as "instinct" and to favor instead the neologism "pulsion", which has French origins and became common in the psychoanalytic literature written in many neo-Latin languages, including Portuguese. The objective of this paper is to criticize this trend. For that, the main arguments usually presented against a biological view of Freud's Trieb are discussed, namely: 1) the terminological alternative between the German words Trieb and Instinkt and how these terms are employed by Freud; 2) Freud's critique of the reduction of human sexuality to the reproductive function; 3) the concept of Todestrieb , formulated by Freud around 1920 and central in the last stage of his thought. It is argued that these formulations do not preclude a biological interpretation of the concept of Trieb. Such interpretation, in turn, opens the way for dialogue between psychoanalysis and biology, a dialogue which was also emphatically and explicitly supported by Freud. Some hypotheses in the field of neo-Darwinian evolutionary biology and sociobiology are discussed and it is argued that they are compatible, if not convergent, with Freud's views. The first part of the paper was an introduction to this issue and also approached the problem of the relationship between sexuality and reproduction in psychoanalysis and biology. This second part is dedicated to the problem of aggression and self-destructiveness in these two fields of knowledge. (shrink)
The problem before us is the question: How far is the term ‘ instinct ‘ applicable in ethics? How far is it true to say that instincts are the determinants of the good, or moral, life? And if it is true at all to say they are determinants, how Far is it true?
The problem of the relation between the symbol and that which it represents is not only a problem in epistemology, but it has a clear counterpart in formal logic where it may be associated with the theory of types and in empirical sciences, such as psychology, where it is met in a variety of contexts including the dichotomy between learning and instinct or between environment and heredity.Such dualistic distinctions may be shown to be convenient for purposes of decision making (...) within defined contexts and may therefore be meaningful in terms of « practical » problems, but this does not necessarily reflect an underlying dualism in the empirical world.Concepts such as « learning » and « instinct » may be said to have limited operational significance and are thus functions not of our experience as such but of our outlooks upon our experience. (shrink)
How we select, prepare, and support teachers has become a surprisingly common topic among journalists, politicians, and policymakers. Contemporary recommendations on teaching and teachers, whatever their intentions, fail to assess this deeply human activity from its historical roots. In _The Teaching Instinct: Explorations Into What Makes Us Human_, Kip Téllez invites us to reappraise teaching through a wide lens and argues that our capacity to teach is one part culture, two parts genetic. By rescuing the field of instinct (...) psychology from the margins, this challenging book explores topics as diverse as teaching in other species, teaching across human cultures, and the development of teaching in young children, finally drawing readers into a discussion about how our teaching instinct influences modern teacher learning, selection, and preparation. Drawing on disciplines as diverse as comparative biology, evolutionary psychology, and teacher education policy, Téllez warns us that ignoring or contradicting our teaching instinct results in unhappy teachers and dysfunctional school systems. (shrink)