Herewith, a partial catalog of some habits that I at least find annoying.
1. Calling an opposing view with an impressive pedigree a 'mistake' as if the opposing view can be simply dismissed as resting on some elementary blunder. Here is an example by a distinguished contemporary:
. . . it is possible to distinguish between the being and the nature of a thing -- any thing; anything -- and that the thick conception of being is founded on the mistake of transferring what belongs properly to the nature of a chair -- or of a human being or of a universal or of God -- to the being of the chair. To endorse the thick conception of being is, in fact, to make . . . the very mistake of which Kant accused Descartes: the mistake of treating being as a ‘real predicate.’ (Peter van Inwagen, Ontology, Identity, and Modality, Cambridge 2001, pp. 3-4, emphasis added.)
What van Inwagen is saying here is that the conception of being represented by such luminaries as Thomas Aquinas and all the lesser lights of the Thomist tradition is a mistake because it rests on a mistake. Now it would indeed be a mistake to "transfer what properly belongs to the nature of" an F to the being of the F-item. But that is not what the thick conception does. So if anyone is making a mistake here, it is van Inwagen.
That the thick conception of being does not rest on anything that could be called a mistake is argued by me in "Existence: Two Dogmas of Analysis," in Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives in Metaphysics, Routledge, 2014, pp. 45-75.
2. Attempting to refute by fallacy-mongering. This is a perennial favorite of cyberpunks. Having swotted up a list of informal fallacies, they are eager to find 'fallacies' in their opponents' reasoning. Cyberpunks are beneath refutation, so I'll cite as example A. C. Grayling's ham-handed attempt to pin the fallacy of petitio principii on Plantinga. See Sensus Divinitatis: Nagel Defends Plantinga Against Grayling.
3. Dismissing seriously posed questions as 'rhetorical.' Example. Thomists take a hylomorphic approach to the mind. Roughly, they maintain that anima forma corporis: the soul is the form of the body. I am not my soul, as on Platonism: I am a composite of soul and body, substantial form and proximate matter. But they also believe that the soul can exist in a disembodied state post mortem. There is a tension here inasmuch as form and matter are incomplete items, 'principles' uncovered in the analysis of complete items, primary substances. But if souls, as forms, are incomplete items, how can they exist when apart from matter?
Now consider that question. Is it rhetorical? No. It is a genuine question and a reasonable one which may or may not have a good Thomist answer. To dismiss such a sincerely intended and reasonably motivated question as rhetorical is not a legitimate philosophical move. It is a way of disrespecting one's interlocutor by dismissing his concerns.
4. Using 'surely' as a device of bluster. Little is sure in philosophy, hence uses of 'surely' border on bluster. "Don't call me 'Shirley'" is a way of combatting this bad habit, one to which I have been known to succumb. I may have picked up the habit from Plantinga's writing.
"Surely, there is a property expressed by the predicate 'is Socrates,' the property, identity-with-Socrates." (This is not a quotation from Plantinga.) Shirley? Where's Shirley?
Just as one ought to avoid the cheap dismissals illustrated in #s 1-3, one ought to avoid the cheap avowal illustrated in #4.
5. Advertising one's political correctness. I am reading an article on some arcane topic such as counterfactual conditionals, when I encounter a ungrammatical use of 'they' to avoid the supposedly radioactive 'he.' I groan: not another PC-whipped leftist! I am distracted from the content of the article by the political correctness of the author. As I have said more than once, PC comes from the CP, and what commies, and leftists generally, attempt to do is to inject politics into every aspect of life. It is in keeping with their totalitarian agenda.
If you complain that I am injecting politics into this post, I will say that I am merely combatting and undoing the mischief of leftists. It is analogous to nonviolent people using violence to defend themselves and their way of life against the violent. We conservatives who want the political kept in its place and who are temperamentally disinclined to be political activists must be become somewhat politically active to undo the the damage caused by leftist totalitarians. By the way, there is nothing sexist about standard English; the view that it is is itself a leftist doctrine that one is free to reject.
6. Responding by repeating. If I raise a question as to the intelligibility of, say, the Chalcedonian definition, then it is no decent response merely to repeat the definition. Otherwise I become annoyed. And we don't want that.
7. Excessive use of 'of course.' I am guilty of this. It is like 'surely': more often than not a device of bluster in philosophy.
8. Feigning incomprehension. Saying, 'I don't know what you are talking about,' when you have a tolerably clear idea of what I am talking about. This may be the same as Petering Out.
What is offensive here is the dismissal of an idea or an entire philosophy because it is not totally clear, when it ought to be one purpose of philosophical dialog to clarify what is not totally clear. You say you have no idea what Emmanuel Levinas is driving at in Totality and Infinity? Then I say you must be one stupid fellow or uneducated or both. Same with Heidegger and Hegel, et al. You say you don't know what Hegel is talking about what he says, at the beginning of his Science of Logic, that Being passes over into Nothing? No idea at all? Then you are dumb or inattentive or lazy or a philistine or something else it would not be good to be.
Don't feign incomprehension. If you find what I maintain unclear, explain why you think it unclear, and then ask for clarification. In that way, we may make a bit of progress.
9. Taking the names of great philosophers in vain. If you are historically ignorant, don't attach the names of great philosophers to your pet theses. Don't use 'Leibniz's Law' for something that cannot be found in Leibniz. See 'Leibniz's Law': A Useless Expression. Don't call 'Aristotelian' the view that there are immanent universals. If you have never read Brentano or Meinong, why are you dropping their names in your labels for theses that are not theirs?
10. Confusing philosophy with the history of philosophy. Kant says it best in the second paragraph of the Introduction to his Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (LLA ed. p. 3):
There are scholarly men, to whom the history of philosophy (both ancient and modern) is philosophy itself; for these the present Prolegomena are not written. They must wait till those who endeavor to draw from the fountain of reason itself have completed their work; it will then be the historian's turn to inform the world of what has been done. Unfortunately, nothing can be said, which in their opinion has not been said before, and truly the same prophecy applies to all future time; for since the human reason has for many centuries speculated upon innumerable objects in various ways, it is hardly to be expected that we should not be able to discover analogies for every new idea among the old sayings of past ages.
11. Criticizing a philosopher for thinking for himself and not discussing one's favorite historical figure.
It must have been in the early '80s. A paper of mine on haecceities had been accepted for reading at a regular colloquium session of the A. P. A., Eastern Division. The paper focused on Alvin Plantinga's theory of haecceity properties. Although I had a good job, I was looking for something better and I had also secured an interview with Penn State at that same APA convention. The late Joseph J. Kockelmans was one of the members of the Penn State philosophy department who interviewed me. When he heard that the paper I was to read dealt with haecceities, he asked whether I would be discussing Duns Scotus. I of course explained that there would be no time for that since I had twenty minutes and my paper dealt with ideas of Plantinga. Kockelman's question displayed the typical bias of the Historical/Continental type of scholar. Such a person cannot understand how one might directly engage a contemporary question without dragging in the opinions of long dead thinkers. They cannot understand how one could think for oneself, or how philosophy could be anything other than its history or the genuflecting before texts or the worshipping at the shrine of Heidegger, say.
12. Compiling lists such as this one. This doesn't annoy me, but it might annoy you.