History and the analytic philosopher

More from Bernard Williams:

Paul Grice use to say that we “should treat great and dead philosophers as we treat great and living philosophers, as having something to say to us.” That is fine, so long as it is not assumed that what the dead have to say to us is much the same as what the living have to say to us. Unfortunately, this is probably what was being assumed by those who, in the heyday of confidence in what was being called the “analytic history of philosophy,” encouraged us to read something written by Plato “as though it had come out in Mind last month” – an idea which, if it means anything at all, means something that destroys the main philosophical point of reading Plato at all.
(Bernard Williams, “Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline”)