This is helpful for me as a theologian working on Dallas Willard. It is buried in his “Translator’s Introduction” to Husserl’s Philosophy of Arithmetic:
It is part of the “spirit” of phenomenology to not approach issues or texts under headings anyway – even the heading “Husserlian” or “phenomenology.”
One of the ironies of philosophical greatness is how the accumulating interpretations of a great philosopher can lead to the obscuring of his own writings – to what, for example, is “Kantian,” but very little of Kant.
Having, by now, seen a great deal of work supposedly in the “spirit” of some great philosopher, one might fairly conclude that a little subservient exposition might not be an altogether bad thing. After all, there really are very few philosophical geniuses, and a sedulous working out of their texts might prove to be one of the better ways toward genuine philosophical enlightenment – better, even, than imaginative constructions under the banner of a great one.
I completely agree with Willard on this point. It reminds me why we should keep all things “Willardian” at arms distance. More subservient exposition, please!