When Philosophy Became What It Is Today
- Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 43, Number 2, Spring 2007
- pp. 375-381
- Additional Information
I provide an overview of A Thoughtful Profession (Open Court, 2006), Jim Campbell's splendid account of the first twenty-five years or so of the American Philosophical Association (APA), in which he shows in considerable detail how thoughtfully our association came into being and how we still live with the solutions of those early years. Three separate associations were formed during this period in response "to the impact of contemporary science and technology on American thinking, . . . the increasing democratizing of American higher education," and "the impact of the German system of higher education. As a result of these three factors, higher education in America was fundamentally changed; and the practice of academic philosophy was changed with it" (Campbell, p. 18). I recount how this book tells the story of that change and the eventual formation of the APA in the 1920s from these three associations. We still live with the effects of this professionalization of academic philosophy and of the decision to form a division-dominated national association.