Here are the slides from a presentation I gave in April to the European Studies group at Purdue. The basic point is that a study of the historical context of a philosopher can be essential to understanding the content of their position. One can concede this role to context without thinking that the correctness of one's philosophical views are determined by the context. Extended debate about the importance of context for the history of philosophy has developed out of Soames' book. See here for Soames' various replies to criticisms.