An interesting conversation at the Pacific APA: name great works in analytic philosophy published in the 1960s. One can find important papers and books if one tries. But it's not as easy as you'd think, and even in many of these cases, it's not the most important work by the philosopher in question. The contrast with the 1950s and the 1970s, where truly major works just roll off the tongue, is pretty striking. Of course there's no doubt that a lot of important work was going on in the 1960s, and the many major books and articles of the early 1970s were presumably the result of hard thinking in the preceding years. But going by publication dates, there's nevertheless the appearance of a mild down period. Why the drop-off just then? (In a period of fruition for so many other areas, too.) Perhaps it was some sort of intergenerational period of consolidation. It's surprising, all the same.
Still, one might take the phenomenon as hopeful. Lots of people have discerned a similar drop-off in truly important philosophical work in the 1980s, or the 1990s, or choose your decade. Of course perspective makes this hard to assess, and there's unquestionably been a lot of very good work in these decades. But it's a common enough judgment, one that makes some people worry about the future of the field. Nevertheless: if we take the 1960s as a model, one might hope that any contemporary drop-off is just another eye in the (multiple-eyed?) storm.
Anyway, suggested explanations of the phenomenon, and/or defenses of the 1960s, are welcome.