UNTIL LAST MARCH, the main offices of New York University’s philosophy department looked out over Washington Square Park from the fifth floor of a building on the park’s east side. It is at once a tribute to the popularity of the discipline and to the excellence of NYU’s philosophers that the department had over the years outgrown this ideal location; philosophers were housed in three separate locations around the campus. This state of affairs was felt to be unsatisfactory, in part, surely, for administrative reasons, but mainly for reasons connected with the spirit of philosophical communities as such: Philosophers are resources for one another, since it is chiefly through discussion and debate that the subject is advanced and refined. And so the department was at last offered a building of its own, and it was announced that a search had begun for a major architect to create an interior
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