Dalrymple has often written of his belief in, and preference for, the complexity and even inscrutability of human behavior. In New English Review he respectfully disagrees with British psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen’s claim to have unlocked the mystery of human evil by defining it as lack of empathy.
In the first place, Baron-Cohen sometimes makes precisely the mistake that he accuses the users of the term ‘evil’ of making, namely of rendering the explanandum identical with the explanans….Baron-Cohen is certainly not the first to think that he has plucked out the heart of Man’s metaphysical mystery (for why should empathy be any different from any other quality?). Moleschott, for example, told us a long time ago that the brain secretes thought as the liver secretes bile. (Actually, the brain also secretes quite a lot of bile, metaphorically speaking of course.) I am afraid I think there is a lot of plucking still to be done: in fact, I think it will never be done. That is the heart of our mystery.