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Quotations: Instinct

Instinct is untaught ability.
Bain

I would rather trust a woman's instinct than a man's reason.
Stanley Baldwin

Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Instinct is the nose of the mind.
Madame De Girardin

We are too good for pure instinct.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A good man, through obscurest aspirations has still an instinct of the one true way.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To the present impulse of sense, memory, and instinct, all the sagacities of brutes may be reduced; though witty men, by analytical resolution, have chemically extracted an artificial logic out of their actions.
Sir Matthew Hale

An instinct is an agent which performs blindly and ignorantly a work of intelligence and knowledge.
Sir William Hamilton

Instinct harmonizes the interior of animals, as religion does the interior of men.
Hermann Jacobi

Telling us to obey instinct is like telling us to obey 'people.' People say different things: so do instincts. Our instincts are at war.... Each instinct, if you listen to it, will claim to be gratified at the expense of the rest....
C.S. Lewis

Ideas pull the trigger, but instinct loads the gun.
Don Marquis

Great thoughts, great feelings, came to them, like instincts, unawares.
Richard Monckton Milnes

The active part of man consists of powerful instincts.
Francis W. Newman

The instinct of brutes and insects can be the effect of nothing else than the wisdom and skill of a powerful, ever-living agent.
Sir Isaac Newton

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
George Orwell

An instinct is a propensity prior to experience and independent of instruction.
William Paley

Instinct and reason how can we divide? 'Tis the fool's ignorance, and the pedant's pride.
Matthew Prior

Instinct is stronger than upbringing.
Irish Proverb

The main things which seem to me important on their own account, and not merely as means to other things, are knowledge, art, instinctive happiness, and relations of friendship or affection.
Bertrand Russell

If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.
Bertrand Russell

He's simply got the instinct for being unhappy highly developed.
Saki

Well-bred instinct meets reason halfway.
George Santayana

Criminal: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.
Howard Scott

By a divine instinct, men's minds mistrust ensuing danger; as, by proof, we see the waters swell before a boisterous storm.
William Shakespeare

Instinct is a great matter. I was now a coward on instinct.
William Shakespeare

Few of us have vitality enough to make any of our instincts imperious.
George Bernard Shaw

Beasts, birds, and insects, even to the minutest and meanest of their kind, act with the unerring providence of instinct; man, the while, who possesses a higher faculty, abuses it, and therefore goes blundering on.
Robert Southey

Instinct is intelligence incapable of self-consciousness.
John Sterling

Brutes find out where their talents lie: a bear will not attempt to fly.
Jonathan Swift

Instead of judgment, woman has rather a quick perception of what is fitting, owing to the predominance of her instinctive faculties. The quick perception, indeed, bears the stamp of instinct.
Alexander Walker

Instinct is animal strength.
Daniel Webster

An instinct is a blind tendency to some mode of action, independent of any consideration, on the part of the agent, of the end to which the action leads.
Archbishop Richard Whately

Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else's.
Billy Wilder

A few strong instincts and a few plain rules.
William Wordsworth

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