Is it much harder to be a philosopher now (that is, to make a contribution to the discipline) than it was 50 years ago? Is philosophy like science in that there can seem at times to be less and less left for us to "discover," over time?
I agree that it is more difficult to gain access to and to contribute to highly specialized and professionalized academic communities than to less specialized and less professionalized ones. Not all fields of philosophy are as highly technical as mathematical logic, but nearly all philosphical communities are highly professionalized and can be accessed only by those with strong professional credentials. That said, contributing to a highly professionalized academic community is by no means the only way to engage philospohical issues in a profound manner: the classical philosophical texts and problems are just as amenable (or not) to human thought as they have been, and it is no harder for anyone to think philosophically about them now than it has been in the past.