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Conclusions American philosophy then may still not have climbed out of the ditch into which the McCarthy Era plunged it This is not to say that the defensive posture it adopted after World War II had no good results Once philosophy had been removed from concrete questions it gained a certain sort of freedom It was for example only after the McCarthy Era with its obvious anti-Semitism that Jews were really free to pursue careers in American philosophy departments One wonders how soon that would have happened if philosophy had continued to be the sort of value-bound enterprise it tended to be earlier--bound in part inevitably to the higher wisdoms of the small-minded America of which Bertrand Russell--and not only he--had run afoul The McCarthy Era also brought universities some practical benefits The dominance of a single paradigm meant that philosophy departments could be small and cheap as befitted a possibly subversive frill in a country whose chosen mission was the preservation of global free enterprise Genuine and fecund pluralism were it ever to arrive in the New World would require far larger and more expensive departments and there is no evidence that American universities are ready to support them 20 The result as Reiner Schrmann has written is that the long awaited dialogue between analytical and Continental philosophy is taking place in Europe not in America 321 It seems possible in other words that the choices it made in the fifties enabled American philosophy to survive the McCarthy Era But they may have allowed it to survive only as a reduced and reticent discipline able to see just a few stars in an intellectual firmament that was once much wider and more interesting Whether these advantages from forty years ago justify perpetuating the present situation much longer is not easy to decide What is certain is that philosophers cannot even hope to decide it unless they discuss it That they do not discuss it
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