Pure reason: Russian shot in debate over philosopher Kant

An argument in southern Russia over the philosopher Immanuel Kant, a bust of whom is seen here in Kaliningrad, led to one debater shooting the other with an air gun.
(AFP / Getty Images)

MOSCOW — An argument in southern Russia over philosopher Immanuel Kant, the author of “Critique of Pure Reason,” devolved into pandemonium when one debater shot the other with an air gun.

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 the small, nonlethal pistol and fired repeatedly.

The victim was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening. Neither person was identified.


Russia’s official RIA Novosti news agency said the shooter could face up to a decade in prison for intentional infliction of serious bodily harm. The agency observed: “That sentence would give him time to more thoroughly study the works of Kant, who contemplated a universal law of morality.”

Kant was an 18th century German philosopher who was born in what is now the Russian city of Kaliningrad, home to Immanuel Kant Baltic university.

It was not clear which of Kant’s ideas may have triggered the violence.


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