October 25, 2008

Discussions about motives can go on interminably

Motives are typically complicated and only partially visible, so it's easy for them to become the focus of endless speculation, interpretation, soul-searching, and navel gazing. Because motives are mixed and complicated, discussions of what they really should be can go on interminably.


  1. Yes, the motive for your car deciding to stop working can be resolved by exploring the problem and finding that a spark plug needs replaced. Oh that it were that simple with human beings. Exploring the 'what/why/how' of human motives can make for interesting gossip, but not much else

  2. I agree. This is why I think one of the least useful questions on the plant is "Why did you do that?"

    People often just don't know but if you ask they will come up with something plausible. And if it's something derogatory about themselves it could not only fail to do good but also do harm.

  3. Hi Rodney, Agree. Even worse might be the question: "Why haven't you ...?", especially when spoken in a blaming manner


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