I grant that there are two historical tasks to philosophy, one socratic and outward looking, testing ideas within the community, and a second turned inward, philosophers addressing one another on recondite questions that the community will not understood or will be deeply suspicious of.
I further acknowledge that both tasks are legitimate; that there is beautiful and important work to be done in the latter sphere; and that the two domains are often intimately intertwined.
but this is all (brief) preamble to my main point, which is a claim about an ongoing institutional pathology.
To successfully focus solely on the second task requires rare skills. (The other is the easier, tho far from easy task.) Rare skills that few possess.
Thus many, having the will for philosophy, take on the first task. But lacking the talent, they turn into nook dwellers, a position only possible through the 20th C disciplining of philosophy.
I was at UTEP recently — there to talk to scientists, of course — and talked with a couple of the philosophers while there. One claimed that the 20th century is the greatest of all philosophical centuries: there has never been such careful and profound work.
Not by my lights. Think 1788. Après moi, le déluge.
We suffer from too many philosophers.