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Human Instinct

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  • Charles Vermont
    Meghan, In you post of 5th November 1999 you wrote ... Up until that point I had assumed that my instincts were common to other human beings. I m interested to
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 6, 1999
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      Meghan,

      In you post of 5th November 1999 you wrote

      >Of course, there's no such thing as "human instinct" anyway.<

      Up until that point I had assumed that my instincts were common to other human beings. I'm interested to know what you mean by that statement.

      Charles Vermont
      London, England
    • Meghan
      Charles wrote:
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 6, 1999
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        Charles wrote:

        <<Up until that point I had assumed that my instincts were common to other
        human beings. I'm interested to know what you mean by that statement.>>

        I mean that humans do not have instictual behaviors the way other animals
        have instinctual behaviors. My pet ferret, for instance, has an
        instinctual drive to burrow. Although she herself has never lived in the
        wild (or anything remotely resembling the wild), she still burrows in
        sheets and potted plants. The instinct is there for any ferret --- even
        though no ferret (I mean specifically "mustela furo" rather than its feral
        cousin the black-footed ferret) has been feral for thousands of years.

        What we think of as "human instinct" isn't ingrained, but either a) a
        collection of conditioned behaviors which dictate responses to given
        situations, or b) reflexes. (And since I know someone would provide this
        example if I didn't address it --- an infant sucking isn't exhibiting
        "instinct," it's exhibiting a "reflex.")

        Therefore, you're right in that what you consider "human instinct" is
        similar to that of other people. Considering most people have been raised
        in fairly similar circumstances, is it unreasonable to expect that they may
        have gut reactions that are sometimes similar?


        -Meghan


        _____________________

        http://nettrash.com/users/meghan/enter.html

        "Lead me not into temptation; I can find the way myself."

        -- Rita Mae Brown
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