I actually realized I do have two use-cases for using the dock:
1) Opening a file that's saved to my Desktop / Downloads folder (both of which have "Folder" icons in my dock)
2) Related — dragging a screenshot file from my Desktop icon onto the Photoshop icon to open that file.
In both cases, that seems like the more ergonomic solution than cmd+tabbing to Finder and grabbing the file, or opening up Photoshop and then finding the file.
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