David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 43 (2):386-389 (2007)
: James Campbell's recent book A Thoughtful Profession is an important contribution to our understanding of the state of professional philosophy at the turn of the 20th century, of the development of the American Philosophical Association, and the character of philosophy itself. Its value lies in several points: 1) understanding the historical roots of the APA helps us to understand its contemporary condition; 2) by exploring the origins of the APA Campbell sheds light on the issues that moved philosophers a century ago, and how they envisioned the discipline developing as a serious, academic profession; 3) the survey the book provides of the arguments then current over the nature of the philosophical enterprise are relevant today as practicing philosophers continue to debate the nature of the discipline, and it suggests important similarities with other disciplines; and 4) the account of the reasons for the creation of the APA remind us how important it is that philosophers continue to have organized, institutional ways for us to communicate. Campbell has written an immensely valuable and interesting book.
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