Are any past ideas so obsolete that they could not be revived?
Are any present ideas so entrenched that they could not be given up?
Do ideas belong to the context of a certain time, so that they could not occur before or after a certain date?
If some of our ideas are entrenched, must we view them as the inevitable product of our history, rather than being open to question?
If we look at how they were formed, will that show us why we cannot give them up, or will it sometimes reveal to us that they are unjustified?
Professor Richard Sorabji was Professor of philosophy at King's College London between 1970 and 2000. Before that he was an Associate Professor at Cornell University, 1962-69. Since 2000 he held posts as Gresham Professor of Rhetoric at (2000-03), Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas at Austin (2000-), Distinguished Visiting Scholar at New York University (2000-03), and Visiting Professor at the City University of New York (2004-07). In 2008, he became Cyprus Global Distinguished Professor at New York University.
He is also an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, a member of the Senior Common Room of Pembroke College, Oxford, and a member of the Sub-Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of The British Academy and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Fellow of King's College London, a Fellow of Gresham College (2003-04), and a Research Fellow of the Institute of Classical Studies.
Previous posts include Founding Director of the King's Centre for Philosophical Studies (1989-91), British Academy Research Professor (1996-99), Director of the Institute of Classical Studies (1991-96), and President of the Aristotelian Society (1985-86).
He is founder and director of the international 'Ancient Commentators on Aristotle' project devoted to the publication of translations of philosophical texts from the period 200-600 AD, texts that formed the necessary bridge between ancient philosophy and later thought both in Medieval Islam and in the Latin-speaking West. To date over 60 volumes have been completed.
All of Professor Sorabji's previous lectures may be accessed here.