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Instinct Quotes

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

Author: Joseph Addison (1672-1719)

Profession: British Essayist, Poet, Statesman

Instinct is untaught ability.

Author: Alexander Bain (1845-1928)

Profession: Scottish Philosopher and Psychologist

An absolute can only be given in an intuition, while all the rest has to do with analysis. We call intuition here the sympathy by which one is transported into the interior of an object in order to coincide with what there is unique and consequently inexpressible in it. Analysis, on the contrary, is the operation which reduces the object to elements already known.

Author: Henri L. Bergson (1859-1941)

Profession: French Philosopher

If men as individuals surrender to the call of their elementary instincts, avoiding pain and seeking satisfaction only for their own selves, the result for them all taken together must be a state of insecurity, of fear, and of promiscuous misery.

Author: Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Profession: German-born American Physicist

A few strong instincts and a few plain rules suffice us.

Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Profession: American Poet, Essayist

Instinct is the nose of the mind.

Author: Madame de Girardin


Instinct is action taken in pursuance of a purpose, but without conscious perception of what the purpose is.

Author: Van Hartmann


A goose flies by a chart which the Royal Geographical Society could not mend.

Author: Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

Profession: American Author, Wit, Poet

Intuition and concepts constitute... the elements of all our knowledge, so that neither concepts without an intuition in some way corresponding to them, nor intuition without concepts, can yield knowledge.

Author: Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

Profession: German Philosopher

It is the rooted instinct in men to admire what is better and more beautiful than themselves.

Author: James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

Profession: American Poet, Critic, Editor

The active part of man consists of powerful instincts, some of which are gentle and continuous; others violent and short; some baser, some nobler, and all necessary.

Author: Francis W. Newman


Instinct. When the house burns one forgets even lunch. Yes, but one eats it later in the ashes.

Author: Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Profession: German Philosopher

The natural man has only two primal passions, to get and to beget.

Author: Sir William Osler (1849-1919)

Profession: Canadian Physician

What is peculiar in the life of a man consists not in his obedience, but his opposition, to his instincts. In one direction or another he strives to live a supernatural life.

Author: Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Profession: American Essayist, Poet, Naturalist