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Now Father sat beside Mother in the audience. Jonas could see them applauding dutifully as the Nines, one by one, wheeled their new bicycles, each with its gleaming nametag attached to the back, from the stage. He knew that his parents cringed a little, as he did, when Fritz, who lived in the dwelling next dbuy usdt freeoor to theirs, received his bike and almost immediately bumped into the podium with it. Fritz was a very awkward child who had been summoned for chastisement again and again. His transgressions were small ones, always: shoes on the wrong feet, schoolwork misplaced, failure to study adequately for a quiz. But each such error reflected negatively on his parents' guidance and infringed on the community's sense of order and success. Jonas and his family had not been looking forward to Fritz's bicycle, which they realized would probably too often be dropped on the front walk instead of wheeled neatly into its port.

"Hume also rebelled against rationalist thought in the area of ethics. The rationalists had alitecoin (ltc) mining poollways held that the ability to distinguish between right and wrong is inherent in human reason. We have come across this idea of a so-called natural right in many philosophers from Socrates to Locke. But according to Hume, it is not reason that determines what we say and do.""What is it then?"

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"It is our sentiments. If you decide to help someone in need, you do so because of your feelings, not your reason.""What if I can't be bothered to help?""That, too, would be a matter of feelings. It is neither reasonable nor unreasonable not to help someone in need, but it could be unkind.""But there must be a limit somewhere. Everyone knows it's wrong to kill.""According to Hume, everybody has a feeling for other people's welfare. So we all have a capacity for compassion. But it has nothing to do with reason."

"I don't know if I agree.""It's not always so unwise to get rid of another person, Sophie. If you wish to achieve something or other, it can actually be quite a good idea.""Whatever survives is right."

"Or vice versa: that which is right survives.""Don't you have a tiny example for me?""One hundred and fifty years ago there were a lot of people fighting for women's rights. Many people also bitterly opposed giving women equal rights. When we read the arguments of both sides today, it is not difficult to see which side had the more 'reasonable' opinions. But we must not forget that we have the knowledge of hindsight.If 'proved to be the case' that those who fought for equality were right. A lot of people would no doubt cringe if they saw in print what their grandfathers had said on the matter."

"I'm sure they would. What was Hegel's view?""About equality of the sexes?"

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"Isn't that what we are talking about?""Would you like to hear a quote?""Very much."" 'The difference between man and woman is like that between animals and plants,' he said. 'Men correspond to animals, while women correspond to plants because their development is more placid and the principle that underlies it is the rather vague unity of feeling. When women hold the helm of government, the state is at once in jeopardy, because women regulate their actions not by the demands of universality but by arbitrary inclinations and opinions. Women are educated--who knows how?--as it were by breathing in ideas, by living rather than by acquiring knowledge. The status of manhood, on the other hand, is attained only by the stress of thought and much technical exertion.' "

"Thank you, that will be quite enough. I'd rather not hear any more statements like that.""But it is a striking example of how people's views of what is rational change all the time. It shows that Hegel was also a child of his time. And so are we. Our 'obvious' views will not stand the test of time either.""What views, for example?""I have no such examples."

"Why not?""Because I would be exemplifying things that are already undergoing a change. For instance, I could say it's stupid to drive a car because cars pollute the environment. Lots of people think this already. But history will prove that much of what we think is obvious will not hold up in the light of history."

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"I see.""We can also observe something else: The many men in Hegel's time who could reel off gross broadsides like that one on the inferiority of women hastened the development of feminism."

"How so?""They proposed a thesis. Why? Because women had already begun to rebel. There's no need to have an opinion on something everyone agrees on. And the more grossly they expressed themselves about women's inferiority, the stronger became the negation.""Yes, of course.""You might say that the very best that can happen is to have energetic opponents. The more extreme they become, the more powerful the reaction they will have to face. There's a saying about 'more grist to the mill.' ""My mill began to grind more energetically a minute ago!""From the point of view of pure logic or philosophy, there will often be a dialectical tension between two concepts."

"For example?""If I reflect on the concept of 'being,' I will be obliged to introduce the opposite concept, that of 'nothing.' You can't reflect on your existence without immediately realizing that you won't always exist. The tension between 'being' and 'nothing' becomes resolved in the concept of 'becoming.' Because if something is in the process of becoming, it both is and is not."

"I see that.""Hegel's 'reason' is thus dynamic logic. Since reality is characterized by opposites, a description of reality must therefore also be full of opposites. Here is another example for you: the Danish nuclear physicist Niels Bohr is said to have told a story about Newton's having a horseshoe over his front door."

"That's for luck.""But it is only a superstition, and Newton was anything but superstitious. When someone asked him if he really believed in that kind of thing, he said, 'No, I don't, but I'm told it works anyway.' "

"Amazing.""But his answer was quite dialectical, a contradiction in terms, almost. Niels Bohr, who, like our own Norwegian poet Vinje, was known for his ambivalence, once said: There are two kinds of truths. There are the superficial truths, the opposite of which are obviously wrong. But there are also the profound truths, whose op-posites are equally right.""What kind of truths can they be?""If I say life is short, for example . . ."

"I would agree.""But on another occasion I could throw open my arms and say life is long."

"You're right. That's also true, in a sense.""Finally I'll give you an example of how a dialectic tension can result in a spontaneous act which leads to a sudden change."

"Yes, do.""Imagine a young girl who always answers her mother with Yes, Mom ... Okay, Mom ... As you wish, Mom ... At once, Mom."

"Gives me the shudders!""Finally the girl's mother gets absolutely maddened by her daughter's overobedience, and shouts: Stop being such a goody-goody! And the girl answers: Okay, Mom.""I would have slapped her.""Perhaps. But what would you have done if the girl had answered instead: But I wonf to be a goody-goody?"

"That would have been an odd answer. Maybe I would have slapped her anyway.""In other words, the situation was deadlocked. The dialectic tension had come to a point where something had to happen."

"Like a slap in the face?""A final aspect of Hegel's philosophy needs to be mentioned here."

"I'm listening.""Do you remember how we said that the Romantics were individualists?"

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC#

Mark Suster

Written by

2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs 〞 I*m on Twitter at @msuster

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster

Mark Suster

Written by

2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs 〞 I*m on Twitter at @msuster

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster