...Dewey wrote to Alice [his wife] that he had been approached by a speculator at the Chicago Board of Trade, a certain Mr. Van Ostrand, who had been working on a philosophical "scheme." Van Ostrand had offered Dewey $100 to serve as a kind of philosophical consultant. (This was, by the way, no mean sum. We know that just eighteen months earlier Dewey's annual salary was $2,200.) "For the first time on record," he told Alice, "in our experience at least, metaphysics made the connexion with the objective world--...if there are many men like him in Chicago, I'll resign & go out there & hang up a sign 'Dr. Dewey, Metaphysical healer.'" (Hickman, 2007, 17-18)In droll fashion, it seems that Dewey is saying that we can try too hard in our efforts to make our philosophical reflections popular, accessible, and responsive to the immediately felt "problems of men".
Do we actually need a little more distance than we think we need, between our reflections and their immediate applications, and between our expression of them and communication to a non-philosophical public--lest we become "metaphysical healers"?