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Diversity Promotes Disagreement



The most surprising of the many errors in Daniel Choi's coloumn is his careless derivation of the word "diversity," which is related far less to "divert" than it is to the Latin diversitas, "difference, disagreement." I am amazed than Choi finds distasteful one of the most fundamental principles of liberal education--listening to those who disagree with you--but seems not to mind making public errors that could be avoided by spending two minutes with the Oxford English Dictionary. And Choi's injunction to "doubt...all philosophy, literature, art and music less than 180 years old"--this includes, incidentally, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and every word published by Dickens--is simply bizarre.

Most upsetting, however, is Choi's definition of the aim of liberal education as the production of a "whole human being... whose soul has come to rest." I think an education that produced a soul at rest would be horrifying. A liberal education should produce a soul always in motion, always striving, always reaching--a soul trying every day to be better than it was the day before.

Maybe Choi feels that Plato and Aristotle are sufficient weapons with which to battle the confusion of the modern world, but I for one lack his confidence. I have read Plato and Aristotle (in English and in Greek), and I still need all the help I can get. I hope Choi will forgive me for including the work of women and minorities in my search for viewpoints that will challenge me rather than pat me on the back. Choi has chosen Plato and Aristotle as the end of his liberal education. They are the beginning of mine. --Joel Derfner '95

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