Instinct, denotes that faculty or disposition of mind, by whicb animals are led spontaneously to perform whatever is necessary to-preserve the individual, or to continue the species ; independently of any instruction or experience, and aiming at no determinate object.
Thus, infants suck immediately after they are born ; thus, too, insects deposit their eggs in all climates, invariably in such situations as are peculiarly favourable for the hatching and support of their future progeny.
In succeeding years, the faculties of the juvenile mind enlarge, and our conduct is, or at least ought to be, dictated by reason; while the actions of the brute creation are generally directed by instinct. With respect, however, to the human instinct, philosophers are by no means agreed; some affirming that man possesses a greater number of instincts than any species of brutes, while others assert that human nature tare is utterly destitute of any power or propensity, that C3n with propriety be denominated instinctive. Amid such diversity of opinions, it is difficult to decide: though it cannot be denied that infants afford very strong proofs of a natural impulse. But the inquisitive reader, who is in search of farther information, may with satisfaction peruse the late Mr. SmEllie's Philosophy of Natural History, 8vo. and Dr. Reid's Essays on the Active Powers of Man ; in which the subject is considered in different points of view.