You might enjoy this discussion between two retired scholars who entered the dialogue believing they were divided by great differences. Eventually they concluded that there was more that unites them than divides them. But the discussion along the way is enlightening.

Vernon Smith is a Nobel Prize-winning economic scientist whose groundbreaking work helped reshape how we think about trust and trade, while Peter McLaren is a legendary advocate for better schools — a revolutionary who played a seminal role in the development of critical pedagogy. On the surface, these eminent professors at Chapman University might seem to lack commonality – Smith is considered a libertarian, and McLaren is a Marxist humanist. We hope their fervent but respectful dialogue demonstrates that our differences need not make us enemies.

The engaging exchange between Chapman University scholars Peter McLaren, left, and Vernon Smith “shows that when you get below all the verbiage, we probably agree far more than disagree,” Smith says.
Over six days in late January, the two scholars traded 53 emails totaling more than 12,000 words, touching on subjects ranging from early jobs to principal influences, liberation theology to economic necessity, the writings of Adam Smith to the teachings of Paulo Freire.

Along the way, professors Smith and McLaren found much that connects them, starting with their working-class roots and extending through their shared appreciation for Hopi and Navajo jewelry. As they met for a campus photo shoot at the end of the week, they made plans to share a meal with their wives at an eatery within walking distance of their homes in Old Towne Orange.