Monday, September 16, 2013

Philosophical passions run high in Rostov

An article passed along to me by my friend Sam Fleischacker suggests that some aspects of the historic culture of the Russian intelligentsia have not changed.  At least some of them still take theoretical ideas, and arguments about them, very seriously.
Russian shot in quarrel over Kant’s philosophy
(Associated Press)

MOSCOW – 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.
Wouldn't it be interesting to know?  As the person who forwarded the item to Sam remarked, "Imagine when they get to Hegel or Marx."

—Jeff Weintraub