chapter  11
16 Pages

BETWEEN EMPATHY AND JUDGMENT

This variation on the nature-nurture argument has in the past had a rather clear solution in psychoanalysis. One part of the solution is that of real physical constraints. We cannot make people taller or shorter, but perhaps when it comes to weight, we are a bit less certain. As each piece of new evidence of the physical or biological makes its appearance, however, we tend to retreat. When we learn of the neurological basis of obsessive-compulsive disorder, we subsequently read the case of Freud's Rat Man with a different eye. When we become convinced of the genetic basis of bipolar disease, we begin to think less of the dynamic formulations once ascribed to it. But when this putative genetic factor is called into question, we quickly reclaim our psychological position. Thus we become prisoners of the latest and best physical basis of the psyches. And surely sexuality is bedrock-or is it?