Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Instinct

  • Stefanie TeitelbaumEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_332
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Introduction

Biological instinct is the innate, inherited fixed action patterns of responses or reactions to certain stimuli, both internal and external. These responses or reactions are intermittent and fairly predictable within a specific species. Freudian instinct differs from strictly biological instinct in the uniquely human experience of a consciousness of the pressure to respond, the sometimes consistent presence of such pressure with or without identifiable stimulus, and the variation within the human species. Freud used the words instinkt and treib (drive) to describe such instinctual pressure, often interchangeably.

Inconsistency about mind/body dualism is a core component in Freud’s writings about instinct. Freud feared monism would make psychoanalysis a religious or mystical discipline and compromise its place in a scientific Weltanschauung. Biologically driven forces shaping humanity remain a problematic topic in religious thinking. The polarized debate between biological...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP)New YorkUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Expressive Analysis (IEA)New YorkUSA