Unformatted text preview: conduct. The main instincts are those relating to nutrition and reproduction, the care of the
young, to averting danger or destroying it, to play and organized activity, to acquiring, perhaps to teaching
and learning and to the social relations generally. But manners creep in to regulate our methods of eating and
the things we shall eat; and we may not eat at all unless we agree to get the things to eat a certain way. We
may not cohabit except under tremendous restriction, and marriage with its aims and purposes is sexual in
origin but modified largely and almost beyond recognition by social consideration, taste, esthetic matters,
taboos and economic conditions. We may not treat our enemy as instinct bids us do,--for only in war may one
kill and here one kills without any personal purpose or anger, almost without instinct. We may be compelled
through social exigencies to treat our enemy politely, eat with him, sleep with him and help him out of CHAPTER VI. 48 difficulties and thus completely thwart one instinctive set of reactions. Play becomes regulated by rules and
customs, becomes motivated by the desire for superiority, or the desire for gain, and may even leave the
physical field entirely and become purely mental. And so on. It does no special practical good to discuss
instincts as if they operated in man as such. They become purposes. Therefore we shall defer the consideration
of instincts and purposes in detail until later chapters of this book.
Since instincts are too rigid to meet the needs of the social and traditional life of man, they become
intellectualized and socialized into purposes and ambitions, sometimes almost beyond recognition.
Nevertheless, the driving force of instinct is behind every purpose, every ambition, even though the individual
himself has not the slightest idea of the force that is at work. This does not mean that instinct acts as a sort of
cellar- plotter, roving around in a subconsciousness, or at least no such semi-diabolical personality need be
postulated, any more than it need be postulated for the automatic mechanism that regulates heartbeat or
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11