Date: 22 Apr 2011
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Some philosophical works are considered “classics,” and are regarded as an everlasting source of inspiration for scholars and as full of fresh ideas and timely insights. But such ambitious claims should be put to the test of critical assessment, rather than tacitly agreed to: Does a certain classic truly fit into the current philosophical debate as a significant and relevant contribution, or does it rather show the signs of age, having been partially or even totally outpaced by more recent and comprehensive works? Could it live up to its fame, if it were to appear here and now on the philosophical scene?
Here historical considerations can be no excuse: It is true (and obvious) that contemporary contributions have been influenced and even inspired by the same classic work which is being judged against them, but we are discussing philosophy as a dialogical, provocative, and challenging activity, one that does not grant badges of honor due to past merits. Hence we want to verify whether, a...