Man shot in heated debate -- about philosopher Immanuel Kant

Philosopher Immanuel Kant is portrayed in a 1791 painting by Gottlieb Doebler. Kant was the subject of a heated debate in Russia this week.
(Kirsten Neumann / AFP/Getty Images)

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.


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