Editor's note: This paper was read at the fourth annual University of Dayton Philosophy Colloquium, held in 1974.

In considering the theme of the Fourth Annual Philosophy Colloquium — "The Philosopher: Neutral or Committed?" — several difficulties are apparent. First, the proposed question seems to fall outside the standard areas of interest of many contemporary philosophers, although it has its roots in the classic problem of adequately understanding the nature of philosophy. Second, the proposed question seems to suffer from an ambiguity that might lead one to respond in a variety of ways to perhaps no end at all. Yet, despite these difficulties it is apparent that philosophers have recently addressed themselves to a number of issues respecting neutrality and commitment in the activities of others.

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