Greetings from the undisclosed foreign land that is presently tolerating my presence. All's well here. I write to let you know that I had the opportunity this morning to employ one of my favorite conversational tropes. A young philosopher asked me about my current research. I responded that I'd been working on issues pertaining to x, y, and z. He responded, "Interesting. But who do you use in discussing these things?" I replied, "Who do I use?" He said, "Well, yes... what philosophers, what figures, do you do X, y, and Z with?"
And so the trope... I replied: I don't do philsoophy with any other philosopher. I do philosohpy against other philosophers.
Seriously: I've been noticing that philosophers allied with methods/traditions/approaches (or whatever) that classify themselves as something distinct from something called "analytic" philosophy increasingly describe their research in terms of the figures they discuss. They tend to say things like, "I work on questions of x through the lens of philosopher P," or they say "I'm wiritng a book on Justice, the main figures I'll be discussing are P, Q, and X." So I ask: How is this not equivalent to saying, "I have no original philosophical thoughts or theses of my own, I'm just a toadie for some philosopher who, lucky for me, had his/her own mind"?