Letter to the Editor: Civic Engagement Across the Generations

The Spring 2020 issue of Wesleyan University Magazine correctly conveys with breathless immediacy the urgency of political and cultural issues now facing the United States of America. I only hope that the sense of immediacy of your presentation does not quietly suggest to readers that “civic engagement,” urged in President Roth’s Letter, is the latest news. Such engagement is not new for people connected with Wesleyan. I invite readers to consider an autobiographical statement titled, “The Ghost of Senator Joe McCarthy Haunts a Philosophy Graduate Student.”

As I begin the eighth decade of life, I notice that younger people sometimes regard older people as irrelevant. To be sure, it is younger people who are now getting into “good trouble” (Thank you, John Lewis, for this apt language!). But younger people might be encouraged to know that there are some ordinary people (I, for one) who have long been engaged for their benefit, perhaps since before they were born.

Carry on the work. The world needs you now as it needed us.


Charles Seibert ’62

Charles H. Seibert ’62 is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Cincinnati.