a human instinct flying in the face of custom and profession

SuprunP

Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
Phillotson was more evasive to-night. He did not care to admit clearly that his taking Sue to him again had at bottom nothing to do with repentance of letting her go, but was, primarily, a human instinct flying in the face of custom and profession. He said, »Yes - I shall do that [...]
(T. Hardy: Jude the Obscure)

Would you be so kind to help me understand the part in bold?

Does Hardy say that Phillotson is taking Sue to him again out of his 'rebellious' instinct to go against custom and profession and, therefore, his taking Sue is, at bottom, an act of defiance against custom and profession.

Thanks.
 
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