To the Editor:
Jeffrey Marsh’s critique of Francis Crick’s The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul [Books in Review, April], illustrates once again the seeming incapacity of certain gifted scientists like Crick and other members of the “touch-and-count” school to apprehend those intuitive aspects of behavior which cannot be quantified and which will not register on an MRI, on a CAT scan, or be calculated in grams or drams.
Harry Stack Sullivan in The Interpersonal Theory of Psychoanalysis expressed this difficulty with humorous frustration while trying to convey to interns the concept of empathy:
I have had a good deal of trouble at times with people of a certain type of educational history; since they cannot refer empathy to vision, hearing, or some other special sense receptor, and since they do not know whether it is transmitted by the ether waves or what not, they find it hard to accept the idea of empathy. . . . So although empathy may sound mysterious, remember that there is much that sounds mysterious in the universe, only you have got used to it; and perhaps you will get used to empathy.
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