Overcoming empathy

A disempathic world view: “We may be accused of lacking empathy, but this supposed deficiency is actually an efficiency, not only because there are convenient statistical workarounds, but because the very object of empathy is entirely useless. People can and should be understood in terms of observable behaviors and attributes. Any invisible “agent” slipped under these observable realities is at best too vague or messy to manage, and in all likelihood superfluous or nonexistent.”

You can’t argumentatively disprove a philosophy of this kind — certainly not in its own terms. With respect to mere argumentation, it is not a matter for disproof; it is a matter for disapproval. But disapproval is not objective. It is subjective, and therefore not admissible as a valid argument to a mind who excludes all but objective criteria. Arguments about arguments will ensue, but objective minds are unable to grasp how this kind of argument is even possible, and therefore it also does not exist. So let’s not.

Luckily, we are not limited to mere argumentation. We are not Medieval Scholastics who must gather around the council table to establish theological truth through logical connections of doctrinal assertions.

We are children of the Enlightenment, and we know that we are not chained to the council table and books and figures and dogmas and arguments. We are able — and obligated! — to stand up and exit the room with all its shadowy abstract depictions Truth — and walk out into the sunlight of reality  to see how our truths perform when we test their fitness in helping us live effectively.

This is where design thinking and social scientific method become gloriously useful. Both take subjectivity as real and testable. This sounds abstract until you realize that the fates of businesses and organizations of all kinds hang on subjectivity.

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