Philosophy Debate Leads To Shooting

At least it does in Russia:

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

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 a small nonlethal pistol and fired repeatedly.

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

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

I’d venture to guess that the beer played a role too.

Via Facebook

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Donald Sensing says:

    I once fought a duel over the validity of Kant’s understanding of the antinomies of pure reason, so I am guessing that’s what did it. Either that or Kant’s refutation of Idealism, which always sets off platonists. (I’ll bet one of the Russians was a platonist, probably the one with the “non-lethal” pistol.) There are a lot of things in COPR worth fighting over.

    Or it could have been the beer, maybe.

  2. CSK says:

    What, pray, is a “small non-lethal pistol”? A cap gun? A pea shooter?

    @Donald Sensing: You know, it might have been the paradigm of noumenal perfection. That was probably the proximate cause of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

  3. Ernieyeball says:

    …as they stood in line to buy beer at a small store on Sunday.

    With the information we have can we assume they had been drinking the beer?

  4. mattbernius says:

    I was wondering about the whole “small nonlethal pistol” — unless it was some sort of airsoft gun, I’m trying to figure out what the heck the guy was packing.

    Of course his defense probably will be that in the heat of the argument he discovered that he Kant stop himself from shooting.

  5. C. Clavin says:

    I’m fascinated by the very idea of getting into a philosophical discussion at the “Packie”.
    Where I buy beer it’s far more likely to be a Tea-Bagger whining that the Government needs to stay out of her Medicare.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    It’s appalling shooting someone over Kant. Shooting someone over Hegel, sure. If I had to read Husserl again I’d shoot myself.

  7. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Immanuel Kant was a real pissant who was very rarely stable…

  8. Anderson says:

    Jenos shows he is as ignorant about Kant as about most subjects. Kant was as “stable” a philosopher as the canon offers.

  9. Pinky says:

    Hand-pump BB gun?

  10. Moosebreath says:


    On the other hand, Jenos may have been a graduate of the Philosophy Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

  11. C. Clavin says:

    Seriously? Jenos is questioning someone else’s stability? Isn’t that like John Pinette calling someone fat?

  12. al-Ameda says:

    I’m pretty sure that anyone who had to read Michel Foucault thought about buying a gun on the street.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:


    unless it was some sort of airsoft gun, I’m trying to figure out what the heck the guy was packing.

    Geex, hasn’t anybody ever heard of a starter’s pistol? You know, the one that goes “BANG!” at the beginning of every footrace? 😉

    I’m betting the victim was hit by the “wad” that was holding the powder in the cartridge. From what I hear, it can hurt like hell.

  14. Pinky says:

    Jenos, I don’t know how you put up with this site….

  15. C. Clavin says:

    @ Pinky…
    I think Jenos is a fabrictation of James and Doug and SLT to keep commenter interest up. Conflict drives the plot, as they say.
    Face it…no one could actually be this ignorant and this obtuse and this ridiculous and still manage to get through life.

  16. walt moffett says:


    Try this page which will give an idea of what. Doing a search for “russia traumatic weapons” on youtube will pullup various look at my new toy videos.

    Since the average Russian can’t own a hand gun, these are popular.

  17. rudderpedals says:

    By plinking Aleks, frustrated Sergei commences to immanentize the eschaton,

  18. Grewgills says:

    While I disagree with Jenos on most things, we can agree on Python.
    Not everything is a political argument.

  19. Pinky says:

    @C. Clavin: Cliff, Jenos was quoting a well-known Monty Python routine. The fact that you and Anderson went after him, assuming that he was an idiot, makes you both look incredibly foolish. You didn’t just defend Kant against the charge of being “very rarely stable”, but you attacked used it as proof that Jenos was dumb. And to make things worse, you did it after someone else cited the Monty Python routine! Ignorance can be cured; ignorance and arrogance together are nearly incurable.

  20. C. Clavin says:

    “…assuming that he was an idiot…”

    …based on the evidence at hand.

  21. Tony W says:

    @Pinky: I rather like the Jonathan Swift accusation.

  22. C. Clavin says:

    Also…you may find this hard to grasp…but not having an encyclopedic grasp of Monty Python is not an indicator of ignorance.
    On the other hand…not properly attributing a quote is plagarism.

  23. CSK says:

    @walt moffett: Thanks, Walt. Talk about snub-nosed.

    @mattbernius: Good one.

    I was thinking about Woody Allen’s “gub.”

  24. Pinky says:

    @C. Clavin: Hilarious, dude. Moosebreath had a link. Insulting someone when you don’t understand him is ignorance and arrogance. Failing to admit it, when it’s documented, is just, I don’t even know what. It’s not the biggest thing in the world; people make mistakes online all the time. I know I do. But please, please be willing to admit it.

  25. dazedandconfused says:


    Regular hand guns are illegal, even rifles are tough (they hunt with shotguns) and Russian LE will definitely “break you”, so these things are fairly common.

  26. @CSK: “… the paradigm of noumenal perfection”!?!?!

    Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch . . .

  27. C. Clavin says:

    @ Pinky…
    I’m ignorant because I didn’t follow Moosebreaths link?
    Seriously…that’s your standard?
    Jenos even got the quote he plagarized wrong.

  28. CSK says:

    @Donald Sensing: Clearly, that was the mindset of the non-lethal shooter.

  29. Matt says:

    I Kant believe this happened!

  30. Matt says:

    @dazedandconfused: I’m not too sure about that. I know you can buy ak 103s in RUSSIA (saiga’s with stepped chambers). I also know that you can’t use long barrel guns for self defense which is why you see all kinds of rifle round chambered pistols from there. You also have to get a gun license which is pretty easy to get (kind of like a FOID card).

    The stepped chamber thing exists in most rifles destined for civilian use in Russia. Apparently the police are concerned over whether a weapon used in a crime was military or civilian and the step chamber adds an easy to identify step to the expelled brass.

    I’d like to point out that even a .22 can kill someone if used properly. The smaller rounds tend to bounce off bone which can cause extensive internal damage if the round penetrates the skin or skull. Death tends to be long and slow unless the victim is lucky and gets medical assistance quickly.

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Philistines. I’m stalked by Philistines.

    A Monty Python quote should never HAVE to be attributed. It should be part of the zeitgeist, an essential part of the education of every single person.

    Come to think of it, this conversation proves that point. Moose immediately picked up on it, and Pinky and Grewgills also caught the reference. They even tried to spell it out to Clueless Cliffy, who now insists that his Python ignorance is somehow an asset, and falsely says I misquoted the lyric in question — a lyric from a song he never heard before.

    How’s that work, anyway, Clueless? “I never heard of that song, but you got it wrong!” The link Moose provided shows I recalled it perfectly. Just how do you instantly become an expert of things as soon as you hear of them?

    Oh, that’s right. It comes part and parcel with being an ignorant, arrogant a-hole. It’s all part of the attitude, kind of a package deal.

  32. dazedandconfused says:


    When I was there it was smooth bore only.

  33. Matt says:

    @dazedandconfused: That completely and utterly contradicts what the entire body at saiga-12 knows (where I learned that stepped chambers are civilian barrels), what importers say and what people who live in Russia say.

    Also that makes our library of congress wrong.

  34. Tillman says:

    @Pinky: Dude, those two exist in some sort of Manichean death-spiral. Trying to get one to see a human in the other is a waste of time.

  35. dazedandconfused says:


    There’s hardly any contradiction to my main point, handguns are not allowed. So what if retired generals and some retired high government muckity mucks are allowed to have them sometimes? That stuff is ceremonial

    My impression was the saiga was so popular because you can drop the mag out and it qualifies as “disassembled”. Can’t store a gun “assembled”. Can’t have an “assembled” gun in a car.

    There may be “700,000” rifles in private possession in the books, but that includes a whale of a lot of WW2 antiques. You can’t apply to buy one until you have gone 5 years with no issues possessing a shotgun. and the word is hardly anybody can afford it, and if you are not a “somebody’ or a licensed professional hunting guide, that application gets lost. They have remarkable expanding shotgun slugs for hunting deer. Like claws that fold out.

  36. Matt says:

    @dazedandconfused: Your fight is with the USA government and the Russian government not me.

    Dropping a magazine doesn’t make a gun disassembled either.

  37. dazedandconfused says:


    I explained the situation of a non lethal sidearms in Russia. You think you have contradicted it, so you are fighting me.

  38. grumpy realist says:

    I really wonder which of Kant’s theories they were discussing…

    The only sense I can make of this story is if both of them had already gone through at least one bottle of vodka and were standing in line for a beer chaser.

  39. Tillman says:

    Really, in a sane world, philosophy debates would be the only debates that led to someone getting shot.

  40. dazedandconfused says:

    I’m sure he had his reasons.

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