Context is indeed vital if we are to be historically careful about the meanings of the assertions of past philosophers. For undergraduates, context has an additional kind of importance. Explaining the different sorts of practical problems in which philosophers hoped to make a difference helps students see that what they are reading was not intended to be of merely academic interest. Philosophy nowadays does not have a large appeal to the public, not even to the undergraduate public. If we are to make the history of moral philosophy significant now for students, we need to show them that it mattered in its own time for reasons that went beyond the classroom. What that suggests is that moral philosophy might be as important now as it was then.
(J. B. Schneewind, “Teaching the History of Moral Philosophy,” in Teaching New Histories of Philosophy, ed. J. B. Schneewind [Princeton: The University Center for Human Values, 2004], 177-96, at 191)
Retirado de: Anal Philosopher (só pelo nome vão lá todos... vale mesmo a pena! :)