Instinct-Impulse

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    Abstract

    THE term “instinctive” should, in my judgment, be applied to those activities which are congenital and which are also relatively definite; the term “instinct” being reserved for the subjective and affective condition of the performance of instinctive activities. Where the definiteness is the result of individual acquisition the term “instinctive” should not be applied, though it is so used by Prof. Wundt and others. The modern controversy as to the inheritance of acquired characters seems to render insistence on the congenital element advisable. Undoubtedly there is an inherited tendency to imitation; but from the nature of the case, the activity performed through imitation is not congenitally definite.

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    Instinct-Impulse. Nature 52, 130–131 (1895) doi:10.1038/052130b0

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