I am, naturally, greatly honoured to have been invited by the Royal Institute of Philosophy to organize and conduct their lecture series on American Philosophy. It has been an interesting if trying experience, and I must say that the process of organizing it has given me a special respect for the patience and administrative capacities of those who have the task year in year out. Of course there were special difficulties in the way of importing so many people from the United States (especially since the Institute does not have the funds needed to bring them over), but if the series was to be on American Philosophy—whatever that is—it seemed especially appropriate that the lectures be given predominantly by Americans who have made a special study of the subject— again, whatever that is. We may, of course, end with the conclusion that there is no such distinctive subject, and that the name ‘American Philosophy’ is as nominal as a name can be, but that, we should note, is something to be found out, not a conclusion dictated in advance.
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