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Holzman, P.S. (1957). Psychological Review. LXII, 1955: The Descent of Instinct. Frank A. Beach. Pp. 401-410.. Psychoanal Q., 26:147-147.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychological Review. LXII, 1955: The Descent of Instinct. Frank A. Beach. Pp. 401-410.

(1957). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 26:147-147

Psychological Review. LXII, 1955: The Descent of Instinct. Frank A. Beach. Pp. 401-410.

Philip S. Holzman

The concept of instinct served practical purposes in secular and sacred philosophies. It provided a rationalization for elevating man above other creatures. As a result of the Darwinian revolution, the concept gained scientific attention. 'Proponents of the evolutionary theory accepted uncritically the assumption that all behavior must be governed by instinct or by reasoning. Their aim was to demonstrate that animals can reason and that men possess instincts. The same dichotomy has persisted in experimental psychology. Attempts to eliminate the instinct concept were unsuccessful because those who made the attempt accepted the idea that all behavior is either acquired or inherited. No such classification can ever be satisfactory. It rests upon exclusively negative definitions of one side of the dichotomy. The analysis that is needed involves two types of approach. One rests upon determination of the relationships existing between genes and behavior. The other consists of studying the development of various behavior patterns in the individual, and determining the number and kinds of factors that normally control the final form of the response.' The author expects the concept of instinct to be replaced by one that will yield more fruitful explanations of behavior.

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Article Citation

Holzman, P.S. (1957). Psychological Review. LXII, 1955. Psychoanal. Q., 26:147-147

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