We Are All Psychoanalysts

In this week’s Takimag column, the good doctor attempts to analyze the possible motivations of the recent Monterey Park, CA shooter, and concedes the futility of such a psychological exercise.

In everyday life, we often ascribe motives to people that they do not ascribe to themselves. We say that the real reasons that they do what they do are very different from the reasons that they themselves give for their conduct, and we do not necessarily assume that the difference between the reasons that we and they ascribe are because they are lying. On the contrary, we think that we know their reasons better than they know them themselves. To that extent, we are all psychoanalysts.

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