Dictator Augusto Pinochet
President Salvador Allende of Chile
This September, Dr. Felicia Nimue Ackerman, a philosophy professor at Brown University, published an essay in the Providence Journal, “What we will not say in my classes.” This is the beginning of her essay:
“BROWN UNIVERSITY’S fall semester classes began this month, and I began by telling students my usual ground rules. This presentation goes approximately as follows:
“I expect you to come to class, but you don’t have to give me explanations for any absences. I will suggest paper topics and completion dates, but you don’t have to stick to them. I have one strict rule, though. In my courses, we never, never, never, never . . .”
At this point, I add that I hope all these “nevers” are arousing everyone’s curiosity. Sometimes I ask students to guess. What is it that we never do?