Jean-Paul Sartre occasionally frequents a local cafe. His order is always the same:
“Coffee, please. Sugar, no cream.”
Understanding his particular thinking on “being,” the server faces a predicament due to a supply chain issue. (Yes, these were a pre-COVID thing, too!) The following dialogue ensues:
Sartre: Good day to you, sir. Coffee, please. Sugar, no cream.
Cafe Server: I am so sorry, Monsieur Sartre. We do not have any cream. Can I bring your coffee with no milk instead?
(Thank you Sarah Bakewell for relaying this joke of uncertain origin in the book “At the Existentialist Cafe.”)
This shows the limits of imposing philosophical rigour on real-world business problems.
There can be great merit to exploring a logical distinction in making a decision, but sometimes it is of such little consequence that rather than let such sticking points hold up a decision, the nuances are best left for discussions in the lunchroom. This is the realm of, “Do you want to be right or do you want to get some work done?”