Many academics use the term "philosopher" not as a description of the people working on the set of problems that occupy our time, but rather as a certain kind of honorific. As far as I can tell, on this usage, a philosopher is someone who constructs some kind of admirable general theory about a discipline - be it cultural criticism, history, literature, or politics. So while it would be odd for a philosopher to call themselves a literary critic because they work on interpretation, it is not unusual for English professors to describe themselves as philosophers. In contrast, we philosophers do not regard the term "philosopher" as an honorific. We tend to think that there are many people who are really truly philosophers, but are pretty bad at what they do. We also think that there are many brilliant thinkers who are not philosophers. This difference in usage has ruined many a dinner party for me. So I was pleased to discover this interview with Hannah Arendt, one of my great intellectual heroes. The interviewer asks Arendt what she thinks about being a woman in the traditionally male circle of philosophers. Arendt is bemused by the question - she protests that she does not belong to the circle of philosophers, and in no way feels herself to be a philosopher. Her "job" is political theory. She points out that just because she studied philosophy, that doesn't mean that she stayed with it. Arendt obviously doesn't think she is a worse thinker for not being a philosopher. She is just baffled that the interviewer confuses the kind of qualitative political and cultural theory Arendt built her career around with philosophy. Arendt knew enough traditional philosophy to understand the contours of the discipline; it might prevent some misunderstanding if our fellow humanists did as well.