The Colgate Scene
July 2002

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Remembering Huntington Terrell

Hunt Terrell taught my freshman seminar, "Inner Freedom and Outer Freedom," in the fall of 1974. In this course, I and 20 other terrified-lucky freshmen were asked to read, discuss, critique and personally consider a wide variety of multidisci-plinary writings on the subject of human freedom. Hugely important ideas were discussed. We were required to write a two-page paper each week wherein we were to take a position on any point or idea in that week's readings. We were learning how to think and how to express our ideas in writing, but Hunt was after something even bigger: he was teaching us that it was not just important, but crucial to take a stand on these difficult issues. That this brilliant man genuinely wanted to know my position on such provocative ideas got me excited about really trying to figure out where I stood. It was the first time in my life that I felt deeply, personally connected to an intellectual pursuit. Everything depended on knowing where I stood. It still does. I have Hunt Terrell to thank for this.

"Talking shop" troubling

I was discouraged to read the roundtable discussion on the environment and economic development ("Talking Shop," May). Especially troubling was the absence of any diversity of opinion around the article's central question regarding the impact of the West and capitalism on the global environment and on the human condition in developing nations. Specifically, the discussants expressed the unchallenged view that the market economies of the North are responsible for the poverty of the South and the despoliation of the natural world. I have no objection to these views appearing in the Scene, even though I believe them to be based more on ideology and romanticism than on the far more complex, contradictory and nuanced set of facts on the ground. What I do object to is the presentation of these perspectives as if they represented consensus or received wisdom. If Colgate is committed to rich intellectual discourse rather than advocacy, it must open its doors (and its alumni magazine) to a broader spectrum of informed, thoughtful opinion.

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