A.J. Ayer, a 77-year-old philosopher, confronted Mike Tyson who was forcing himself upon then little-known model Naomi Campbell at a party. When Ayer demanded that Tyson stop, the boxer said: “Do you know who the fuck 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.”
Ben Rogers, “A.J. Ayer: A Life”
Ayer: “Are you talkin’ to me?”
I dunno as I got the guys I need. I mean, I got Rudolf Carnap at lightweight, he’s comin’ along okay. We call him “Carnap the Magnificent,” trying to get him some Friday Night Fights on ESPN2 with Teddy Atlas. Ring Magazine rates him #4 contender in the Logical Positivist division, but he needs to learn how to grab and hold, you know what I’m sayin’? You can punch yourself out against a phenomenologist if you don’t know how to clinch, that’s all I’m sayin’.
Rudolf Carnap: Needs to develop a jab.
I dunno as I’d match Carnap against Karl Popper. Popper, he’s a big critic of logical positivism, always running his mouth. What the fuck does he know? So I says to the guy I says, “You and your freakin’ ‘falsifiability.’ You think that’s better than verifiability? Shut your trap, you stupid mook!”
ESPN2′s Teddy Atlas, showing scars received in Oxford University philosophical debates.
I wish I still had Lou Wittgenstein, but he turned pro. I can’t blame him. You can’t make no money bein’ an amateur. If he hadn’t turned pro I coulda taken him to the Olympics, but that’s water over the bridge, what can I say. Lou had the right idea; make money and give it to the rich. You give it to the poor, they’re just gonna blow it on booze and drugs and dames and horses. ‘Course he coulda give some to me–I woulda known what to dood with it.
People say I oughta give Bertrand Russell another chance. I say no freakin’ way–too many shots to the head writin’ Principia Mathematica, he’s off doin’ peace marches and nookular dismemberment–he’s lost his marbles.
Wittgenstein: “Lou–you okay? How many fingers am I holdin’ up?”
No, I gotta go wit da guys I got for the Golden Gloves Tournament. We’re up against some real heavyweights like Thomas Kuhn, Mr. Structure of Scientific Revolutions and all dat crap. Good ting I got A.J. Ayer in that weight class.
Thomas Kuhn, Willard Van Orman Quine
And cruiserweights like Willard Van Orman Quine–I could knock his freakin’ beret offa him!
Me–what am I sayin’! I mean one of my guys, like Hans Hahn, or Otto Neurath.
That’s a problem fight managers have, we’s always confusin’ ourselves with our fighters. It’s a problem of identity.
Good thing I gotta lotta philosophers around to help me with it.
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Let’s Get Philosophical.”