What First, Instinct or Emotion?

5 10 2004

I wonder if the basic emotions like love and fear are actually instincts, Or is it our experience of these emotions which can trigger our instincts?

When a speeding car comes towards you, your instinctive reaction may be to jump. Later only you may notice the thumping of heart or fear inside you. But here, though your instinct is for self survival.. Isn’t it connected to fear of death?

Given a situation, a person may react in N no of ways. We name his action based on his choice as courage or cowardice, intelligent or dumb, smart or dowdy. All these are concepts which we assign to a particular type of action. You can show courage and its usually associated with an action. Then tell me, is courage really an instinct? Which comes first, is it Instinct which leads to action or is it emotion which goads the instincts?



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