Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Shot over Kant

What a bizarre story. Even in my day heated arguments went no furher that some pushing, shoving, and verbal abuse and that was probably not over Kant, but Sartre.

The Associate Press posted...

An argument in southern Russia over philosopher Immanuel Kant, the author of "Critique of Pure Reason," devolved into pure mayhem when one debater shot the other.

A police spokeswoman in Rostov-on Don, Viktoria Safarova, said two men in their 20s were discussing Kant as they stood in line to buy beer at a small store on Sunday. The discussion deteriorated into a fistfight and one participant pulled out a small nonlethal pistol and fired repeatedly.

The victim was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening. Neither person was identified.

It was not clear which of Kant's ideas may have triggered the violence.

Slate posted...

In Russia, philosophy is taken very seriously. So seriously, in fact, an argument about 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant between two men in southern Russia ended with one of the men shooting the other.

According to Russian news service RIA, the “passionate argument” over the German philosopher “deteriorated into a fistfight” as the two men were waiting in line for beer during an outdoor event in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. "In the course of the fight, the suspect took out a pistol firing rubber bullets and fired several shots at his opponent," RIA news agency reported. According to local police, the victim was shot in the head during the melee and was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The shooter was arrested.

According to Reuters, “many Russians love to discuss philosophy and history, often over a drink, but such discussions rarely end in shootings.”

"Russian man shot in quarrel over Immanuel Kant’s philosophy"

Attacker now faces ten years' incarceration to contemplate the ethics of his actions


Joseph Charlton

September 17th, 2013

The Independent

A philosophical argument over views on Immanuel Kant descended into violent mayhem in southern Russia, leading to a man being shot several times.

The dispute occurred when two men waiting for a beer became involved in an increasingly fractious argument over the work of Kant – the author of canonical philosophical text Critique of Pure Reason – according to a police spokeswoman in Rostov-on-Don, the town where the argument broke out.

The row ended with one of the men producing an air gun and firing several rubber bullets at his opponent.

Police did not identify the men but said that the gunman had been detained after fleeing the scene, while the victim was in hospital with non-life-threatening wounds. The attacker now faces up to 10 years in prison for intentional infliction of serious bodily harm, police said.

It is not known which of Kant’s many theories was the subject of debate.

However, it is highly unlikely the violent nature of the argument would have pleased Kant, left, the widely revered philosopher best known for his writing on ethics and his habitually sedentary lifestyle.

Kant’s theory on duty-based ethics were based on the principle that no decision should be made unless morally good in itself, regardless of predicted consequences – a thinking he called the categorical  imperative.

The philosopher only took time out of his studies for a walk at 3.30pm every day – a tradition he kept up for nearly 60 years  before his death at the age of 79 in 1804.

Less than 5ft tall, Kant suffered from bad health throughout his life and never left his Prussian home town of Königsberg Рnow Kaliningrad in modern-day Russia.

Immanuel Kant [Wikipedia]

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