Hegel’s famous phrase “the owl of Minerva flies at dusk” refers to his Aristotelian view that ends are more important than origins. Since Minerva (Athena) is the goddess of wisdom, he is also emphasizing that wisdom is the product of a lengthy development, and implying that it is in a sense backward-looking.

Euclid is reputed to have quipped that “there is no royal road” to geometry. This applies to many other things as well. Understanding comes gradually, through practical engagement.