Friday, February 15, 2008

Sources for a new Diogenes Laertius

Nick used the following anecdote last night to illustrate a point in Plotinus. I can't remember quite what the Plotinian point was, but this made me laugh. Robert rightly wondered if it had the air of a Diogenes Laertius anecdote. So in good Laertian style, I got this version from Wikipedia (which DL would surely have loved. He could have submitted rubbish poems on various people...).

The Life of A. J. Ayer (extract)

Rogers [1] says of Ayer: At a party that same year [2] 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 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". Ayer and Tyson then began to talk, while Naomi Campbell slipped out.

It is not know what the two men talked about. It is unlikely that Tyson as a result of this meeting became Ayer's akoustês...


[1] See Rogers, Ben A.J. Ayer: A Life, Grove Press, 1999, p. 344.
[2] 1987.

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