September 19, 2013

Kant believe it

It's been a few days since I was struck by a news item from Russia, but I'm finally getting down to blogging about it. It seems that two young men there struck up a conversation about the philosophy of Immanuel Kant that degenerated first into a fist fight and then into gun shots.

News reports did not specifically identify which aspect of the 18th century philosopher's work set off the quarrel.

I have a pet theory. It would be supremely ironic if the argument turned out to be over which of Kant's two main formulations of the ethical categorical imperative was best. Maybe it went down something like this:

Person 1: I believe that one should "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction."
Person 2: That's bull***t. One should "Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end."
Person 1: I got your end right here, you Bozo...
And so it goes. At least nobody was killed. All I can say is it's a good thing they weren't arguing about Nietzsche.

OVER COMING AN OBSESSION. How about that Pope, anyway?

SPEAKING OF WHOM, Francis would consider cutting food stamp benefits for poor Americans to be supremely tacky. Some friends of mine in WV made some noise about that yesterday.


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