From "arguments should not be considered in isolation but in their proper context", it does not follow, except perhaps incidentally, that "arguments should be considered in their historical or literary context".
Was the fault of the censurable approach to ancient texts by analytic philosophers anything other than taking arguments in isolation? (Annas talks repeatedly about how they 'lifted things out of context' and 'dealt with arguments in isolation'.) But then the remedy would presumably be to look at the broader argument and conceptual structure of which those arguments are a part. And this remedy would be continuous with what the censurable analyticians were doing, because it would have the same goals (is this argument sound? what's the truth of the matter here? what are we bound to count as existing?). More attention to literary devices or historical circumstances might be necessary to get straight about this broader, argumentative context; but still the point would be to figure out the soundness of the philosophical view being put forward.
I wonder if this isn't Annas' point, although she seems, in her essay, to express herself at times in such a way as to give weight to historicism.
This, for instance, seems right:
Once the [Third Man Argument] is taken out of its argumentative context and intellectual background, its significance becomes misunderstood and its importance overblown(33).But the following remarks seem not quite right:
It is obvious, however, that our improvement in understanding both the argument and its role does not represent a falling-off from standards of analytical rigor in argument. It just makes it clear that carefulness and precision in dealing with arguments do not have to bring with them further, more locally modern assumptions, such as that a philosophical position must take the form of a theory which can in principle fall to a single counter-argument(33).(Yes, but the view which is opposed gets overstated, as if to suggest that a philosophical position couldn't ever get pinned down and rejected in that way. Is there never any question of a refutation of a philosophical view in ancient philosophy?)
Those of us working in ancient philosophy no longer feel compelled to show that Plato is already of interest to people uninterested in the history of philosophy (40).(I'm not sure I would feel compelled to show anything to people uninterested in the history of philosophy, but the sentence suggests that the study of Plato is history, not philosophy.)
What we do do, is to apply to ancient texts the concern, associated with analytic philosophy, for precision and rigour in argument (40).(But if this is merely what we do, then we do no more than a good historian of ideas. Why wouldn't we say, rather, that we do exactly what analytic philosophers do, but we start from texts by Plato and Aristotle rather than Frege and Russell?--and because of the distance and subtlety of those texts, this requires more scholarship and interpretative skill.)