Instincts

In: Psychology

Submitted By blaine
Words 1358
Pages 6
The major premise of Beach’s article is the need to analyze the reasons for the vitality of a concept that has stood the test of time without objectively testing it. The next objective of the article is to evaluate the concept of intuition as it relates to the science of behavior. Beach concerns himself with the problem that behaviorists often just name or label instincts and he cautions what will happen when this phenomenon assumes that no learning is involved in this process.
Beach states that from the beginning, instinct has been defined and discussed in terms of its relation to reason and the human soul. During the fourth century B.C. the Greek philosopher Heraclitus stated that there are two types of creation. Men and gods were the products of rational creation, and irrational beings were in a separate category of living creatures. Heraclitus observed that only gods and men possess souls. This close relation between rational powers and the possession of a soul would be reaffirmed again during the next 2500 years. Heraclitus in all actuality laid the groundwork for the development and concept of instinct.
Philosophers of the first century A.D. held that men and gods belong to one community since they are rational beings. All animals were excluded since they are not creatures of reason and their most complex behavior takes place without reflection, as stated by Seneca. Neither Heraclitus nor the Stoics based these conclusions upon objective evidence. They assumed that animals lack a rational soul. Aristotle placed man above the Indian elephant, with superior intellectual powers, but none distinct from those of other species.
In the thirteenth century Albertus Magnus removed man from the scale stating he is unique because of the gift of reason and the immortal soul. He states that animals are directed by their natural instinct and cannot act…...

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