Source: p 58, Philosophy ; A Very Short Introduction (2002) by Edward Craig.
Could Plato and Hobbes, 2,000 years apart, with their different backgrounds and circumstances, really have been discussing the same thing? Could a philosopher nowadays be asking the same questions about the self as Hume did, let alone the early Buddhists? Doesn’t the idea that we can talk about philosophical themes without reference to whose and when make them sound like timeless objects that thinkers of any epoch can plug into? That view would be quite the opposite of popular nowadays. All thought, we repeatedly hear, is ‘situated’ – tied to the particular historical, social, and cultural circumstances in which thinkers find themselves.
What exactly does the bolded mean?
Is the bolded a type of relativism, which includes the defense of dead luminaries' immorality by asserting their being only 'a product of their environment or time' (eg: Woodrow Wilson's racism)? As another example, the bolded appears to reflect US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's (relativistic?) reaction to Justice Felix Frankfurter's rejection of her application to be a law clerk because she was female:
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: It was expected. That was the way things were.