Would there be better philosophers if it was more lucrative? Do market forces
What a wonderful question! It would be great to launch a social experiment in which this question was addressed, e.g. in certain parts of the world large sums could be made available for students to go on to do philosophy life-long and compare regions where there is less money in the offing. I suspect that if there was more money in philosophy, more people would practice the discipline and some people with native good philosophical skills who have chosen other fields due to monetary reasons might stick to philosophy. I believe Bertrand Russell observed that in his day many of the brightest, most promising philosophical students chose non-philosophy fields due to money and politics. More recently, John Searle remarked that the key to a movement in philosophy was youth and funding. That said, many of us in the field of philosophy are not in it for the money. I haven't met a philosopher (yet) who claimed they were in it for the money, but I don't think I have met many philosophers who would complain if they were paid more On a related point, I am not sure that lots of money can help some philosophies. Imagine there is good reason to think utilitarianism is not sound in moral theory. Offering lots of money in the way of grants might get lots of philosophers to try to work out a good defense of utilitarianism, but (given that belief is involuntary) the money alone will not suffice to get philosophers to believe in the adequacy of utilitarianism.