Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Quarrel over Immanuel Kant’s philosophy results in shooting

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 – now Kaliningrad in modern-day Russia.


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