Here's some more of the article:
People from all walks of life—physicists, physicians, detectives, politicians—can only come to good conclusions on the basis of thoroughly examining the appropriate evidence. And the whole idea of what constitutes good evidence and how certain kinds of evidence can and can’t justify certain conclusions is a central part of what philosophers study. Philosophers look at what can and can’t be inferred from prior claims. They examine what makes analogies strong or weak, the conditions under which we should and shouldn’t defer to experts, and what kinds of things (e.g., inflammatory rhetoric, wishful thinking, inadequate sample size) lead us to reason poorly.I wonder how persuasive non-philosophers will find this.
This is not to say that doctors, district attorneys, or drain manufactures cannot make decent assessments without ever taking a philosophy class. It’s also possible for someone to diagnose a case of measles without having gone to medical school. The point is that people will tend to do better if, as part of their education, they’ve studied some philosophy. (This is one of the reasons why undergraduate philosophy majors have the highest average scores on the standard tests used for admission to post-graduate study.) No matter what goals someone has, she can better achieve them through assessing evidence more effectively, which philosophy can teach her. Questions about whether this or that goal is one that is good to have or whether certain goals are consistent with other goals, in turn, concern ethics and values—other subjects that philosophers have long pursued.
Does philosophy teach people how to assess evidence more effectively? Does it tell people what goals are good, or which goals are consistent with other goals they might have? Some philosophy courses do this, but most (I have no real evidence for this claim, but I think it's true) do not have such practical goals. If we are to save philosophy, though, then I think we will have to present philosophy as a kind of combination of critical thinking and practical ethics, in the same kind of way that English can present itself as how to read and write.
This is a shame. It suggests that our culture sees no value in its own literature and thinking. It lacks self-respect. It suggests also that we are led by people who value neither thinking nor the expression of thought. It's hard to escape the thought that these people are fundamentally thoughtless. This is not a new phenomenon, of course, but it can be (and lead to consequences that are) terrifying, as Raimond Gaita notes.