Friday, 20 February 2009

The Power of Philosophy: A. J. Ayer versus M. Tyson

I am quite pessimistic about the power and the effect of philosophy. But this story seems to prove me wrong:

"At yet another party he (A. J. Ayer) had befriended Sanchez [Fernando Sanchez, a fashionable designer famous for women's underclothes]. Ayer was now standing near the entrance to the great white living-room of Sanchez’s West 57th Street apartment, chatting to a group of young models and designers, when a woman rushed in saying that a friend was being assaulted in a bedroom. Ayer went to investigate and found Mike Tyson forcing himself on a young south London model called Naomi Campbell, then just beginning her career. Ayer warned Tyson to desist. Tyson: “Do you know who the fuck I am? I’m the heavyweight champion of the world.” Ayer stood his ground. “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 began to talk. Naomi Campbell slipped out."

In Ben Rogers, A. J. Ayer: A Life,Grove Press, 2002, p. 344.

You can see the page at Google books.

Here is a link to a fight with Myke Tyson against Michael Spinks (Heavyweight World Champion from 21 September 1985–19 February 1987): Tyson versus Spinks.

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