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The philosopher and the champ: an encounter for the ages

Posted by Christopher Shea  June 9, 2010 09:48 AM

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Tyler Cowen passes along an old but untoppable anecdote about a collision of worlds (the text is from Wikipedia): The British philosopher A.J. Ayer

taught or lectured several times in the United States, including serving as a visiting professor at Bard College in the fall of 1987. At a party that same year held by fashion designer Fernando Sanchez, Ayer, then 77, confronted Mike Tyson harassing the (then little-known) model Naomi Campbell. When Ayer demanded that Tyson stop, the boxer said: "Do you know who the [&*$%] I am? I'm the heavyweight champion of the world," to which Ayer replied: "And I am the former Wykeham Professor of Logic. We are both pre-eminent in our field. I suggest that we talk about this like rational men." Ayer and Tyson then began to talk, while Naomi Campbell slipped out.

celeb-miketyson.jpg

aj-ayer-1-sized.jpgThe pugilist (top) and the logician
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