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aimless in the sense, because it is what it is

All original tendencies are aimless in the sense that foresight of the consequences does not effect the response. The animal does not originally run from a tiger because he intends to get away. He runs because of the tiger and because running in that situation is a satisfier to his neurones. He equally fingers the block because it is what it is and because fingering satisfies him. As to the aim seen ab extra, the end as gained rather than as foreseen, no instincts have surer utility than the apparently objectless voice-, eye-, and finger-play. For the end of voice-play is language; the end of eye- and finger-play is knowledge. In the long run, the apparently random voice-play is more useful to the species than the specific calls of hunger, pain, fright, protection and wooing; and the puttering with eyes and fingers is more useful than the movements of flight, pursuit, attack, capture and eating.

ex E. L. Thorndike, in Chapter 10, “Tendencies to minor bodily movements and cerebral connections,” Educational Psychology, Volume 1, The Original Nature of Man (1913) : 136 (hathitrust)

Edward Thorndike (1874-1949), wikipedia

30 July 2022