Who Is To Be Considered a Philospher?

Daily Nous is a site maintained by Dr. Justin Weinberg, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina. Recently he weighed in on who should be considered a philosopher, and he had some trouble with it. Calling everyone a philosopher (which might technically be true) lowers the standard into oblivion. It would be an injustice to call Joe Sixpack and William L. Rowe both philosophers in the same sentence. However, there are people recognized as philosophers because they truly are philosophers. They have met certain criteria in this highly specialized discipline. Weinberg tells us,
Let's stipulate that someone is a philosopher who as a PhD in philosophy, or working on a graduate degree in philosophy, or having a regular appointment in a philosophy department LINK
In a similar vein, Dr. Hector Avalos recently commented on who should be considered a biblical scholar. Avalos tells us,
In general, a scholar is one who, at minimum, has the equipment needed to verify independently the claims made in the relevant field. Usually, it is standard to have undergone some certification process as reflected in graduate degrees and peer reviewed published work. Self-proclamation as a “scholar” is not standard academic procedure.
The words for "philosopher" and "scholar" must have meaning, so philosophers and scholars working in those fields are best qualified to define them.

[Edit: When defending Jeff Lowder, Richard Carrier recently claimed he had a PhD in philosophy. That's what I saw. Later Carrier changed it. Since he changed it I've decided to delete what I said since I can't now verify the change.]