Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

PHILOSOPHY: THE NEW CONTACT SPORT

My old colleague, Ernest Allen, sends me this bit of news from the LA Times:

September 17, 2013, 7:56 a.m.
A little philosophy can be a dangerous thing. A heated conversation between two men about the seminal 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant first came to blows, then one man shot the other.
The Kant shooting incident took place in southern Russia in a beer line, Reuters reports, and the bullets were rubber. The 28-year-old victim is expected to recover.
The 26-year-old alleged shooter has been apprehended by the police and charged with "intentional infliction of serious harm." He could serve up to 15 years in prison for not living in accordance with the first, or indeed second, formulation of Kant's categorical imperative: using a gun to win an argument would not work as a universal strategy, and there is no rational end to getting into a fistfight about "The Critique of Pure Reason" or any of Kant's other works.

An interior ministry of the Rostov region, where the shooting took place, told the Wall Street Journal that the men had "decided to find out which of them is a bigger fan of this philosopher, and a tempestuous argument escalated into a fistfight."

If they had stuck with Kant's philosophy of relying on reason over emotion, Kant's biggest fans might never have gotten so wound up in the first place.

3 comments:

Michael Llenos said...

I just hope that 26 year old man doesn't get sent to a prison like the Black Dolphin Prison in Orenburg Oblast, Russia. It is safe to say that Immanuel Kant is not worth all that. At a place like the Black Dolphin Prison I don't think he will be reading The Critique of Pure Reason either. Or will he... another form of torture if you ask me.

Don Schneier said...

Wittgenstein v. Popper, reportedly.

J.R. said...

Well, if Tycho Brahe has taught us anything, it is that swordplay is an acceptable form of mathematical proof. It is about time that philosophers caught up. I predict much livelier conferences in the future.