In this letter to our German colleagues we describe the situation, mentality, and organization of academic philosophy in the Netherlands in comparison to Germany. We proceed in five acts. In the first act, A wide beach , we set the stage and introduce the two academic landscapes; in the second act, Between controversy and frontal teaching , we compare the Dutch and German academic temper and practices. In the third act, Flat land, flat hierarchies , we parallelize the geography of the Netherlands and the organizational structure of Dutch universities. In the fourth act, Philosophers among merchants , we discuss the positive and negative sides of the liberal, transparent, competitive and progress-oriented spirit of Dutch academic philosophy. In the fifth and final act, Philosophy from the pragmatic point of view , we conclude what we can learn from our Dutch neighbours: We plea for a non-elitist, down to earth, straight-forward, and open-minded way of doing philosophy, where one is neither shying away from controversy nor too shy to come down from the ivory tower and mingle with the audience.