Jesse S. Cook III (jcook@AWOD.COM)
Sun, 28 Jul 1996 14:14:31 -0400

On 28 July 1996, Dwight W. Read wrote:

"As someone previously commented, 'instinct' was a term that arose out of a
nature/nurture dichotomy..."

I doubt it. The *Dictionary of Word Origins* says, in part: "The
noun...originally meant 'incitement, instigation,' but it eventually moved
on to 'impulse'...The more specialized 'innate impulse' developed in the mid
16th century." I doubt that the nature/nurture debate was going on then.

"Presumably, instinct...supposedly should refer to behaviors..."

I don't think so. Instict is one thing, behaviors are another; the latter
might or might not follow from the former.

"In this strict sense of the term 'instinct' humans do not have 'maternal

We were not talking about humans. The original instigation of this thread
was a story about mother bear and her cubs. And besides, as you say:

"Thus, just saying that there is no maternal instinct is not very

(I almost gave you the last word! How awful.)

Jesse S. Cook III E-Mail:
Post Office Box 40984 or
Charleston, SC 29485 USA

"Our attitude toward others is not determined by who *they* are;
it is determined by who *we* are."