Should it be the case that if a musician learns the violin first, the lessons he is learning while playing it will be better than those he is learning while learning the piano? What if in addition to being able to play a musical instrument, a musician learns to read music? And does learning piano or violin make a musician better at reading music? We may want to think about this for a moment. But then, after all, what do we have to show for it?
You may remember my discussion during which I said that I don’t claim to have the answers for all the questions, but I do think we can go down a more philosophical track before we start saying that everything is just black and white. That I don’t know “what’s right” but I have found in history that when people have been led astray by what are sometimes mistaken theories or conclusions, they sometimes have made the most important decisions they really had to make in the interest of their own values. And this brings me to a second point. The idea that we can be perfectly satisfied with some choices is not just naive. It is naive even if it is correct.
Another example of this is that of a man whose son falls in love with his daughter. When asked whether he finds the love between his son and his daughter to be true love, he will answer “No.” If he was told that the love was for his son, he might simply answer “No,” but he may well answer “Yes” if told that the love was for his daughter. If he learns about the romance when his son comes home from school and he finds out that his son actually loves an actress who plays in a local theater, he may justifiably respond “Yes” to the question, just as he might think, “Yes, I’m glad my son now knows more than I do that my daughter’s true love is a beautiful actress.” If he learns the truth during the course of the relationship, and finds out later that the father is actually the father of the daughter, he will respond “No.” You might think this is an unreasonable question as far as my position goes, since the boy would only be interested in being with his daughter with a full understanding of the consequences if he were to find out his father was not his father. Yet, here’s the thing: it’s actually quite likely that he would find out, if he tried to find out, even if he had only minimal understanding of the subject matter. So he may well be happy about