If we had set out to make philosophy as irrelevant to the world as possible, and to make the APA as useless to its members or to the purpose of making philosophy influential, I do not think we could have done a better job. The philosophers working on this in the early 1900s could not seem to effectively sort out the purposes and organization of the APA, and I argue we are not much better at it today. We do not have a strong national office and this leaves us less supported and more vulnerable than our counterparts in religion, literature, languages, the social and natural sciences. With the importance of the liberal arts not fully understood by the general public, philosophy stands out as one of the more vulnerable disciplines—again in large part a result of our own attitude and actions. If we don't publicly value teaching, and if our research is considered best when it can be least understood or applied, why are we surprised that many people wonder if there is still a need to teach philosophy.


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