Warning: Philosophy can damage your health

I have often had occasion to use this blog as a platform to go on a rant about the sidelining from our society of high culture. It does sadden me that that which should be so precious to our lives is hidden away, and those who immerse themselves in it are often referred to as elitists, or snobs, or whatever.

Given all this, it is gratifying to see a report about people who feel passionately about philosophy. About people who care so deeply about something as recondite as the philosophy of Kant that, for them, it is nothing less than a matter of life and death.

Oh, all right, very well then – the outcome of all this is not really so gratifying: a man had to be admitted to hospital with injuries, after all. Admittedly, according to the report, the weapon used was only “small” and “non-lethal”, and the injuries, thankfully, are not life-threatening. But it makes me shudder to think what might have happened had they been discussing Spinoza instead!

In the immortal words of Boney M – “Ooh! Those crazy Russians!”




3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by ombhurbhuva on September 16, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Philosophers seek to interpret the world , the point however is to change it. There is a perfect example of a philosophical statement with a record of making omelettes.


  2. Posted by alan on September 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I’ve often thought that, for some Russians, ideas are physical things, like tables and chairs to the rest of us. That may explain why we seem childlike to each other. The one seeming naive and the other lacking knowledge.
    In that regard the British are culturally almost anti-Russians, except that we retain a common scepticism about the claims of religion, but perhaps for very different reasons.
    However, a friend of mine does claim to have heard of heated arguments over poetry in the UK, with one incident involving a brick being thrown through a window…


    • Oh, we’ve had a few heated debates ourselves over abstruse matters, have we not? Although, I must admit, we haven’t got to the stage of throwing bricks or shooting each other. Not yet, anyway… 🙂

      Although I am greatly attracted to Russian culture in general, my impressions of “Russian-ness” is simply what I can discern from their literature, music, cinema, etc., and I don’t know to what extent it is reasonable to view Russian people in general in these terms. But yes, I do take your point: ideas are very strong in Russian literature. But I’d have thought religion is also a very powerful force in Russia. After all, it managed to survive even Communism!

      But it’s difficult to make generalisations. What, for instance, do Chekhov and Dostoyevsky have in common except that they were both major Russian authors?


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