A.J. Ayer vs. Mike Tyson

From an article on burgeoning philosophy clubs (alas, in the U.K. and not so much in the U.S.) is this great, even if apocryphal, tale:

AJ Ayer, author of Language, Truth and Logic, was 77 when he took on Mike Tyson. According to Ben Rogers’ biography, Ayer was a guest at a party in New York in 1987 when a woman cried out that her friend was being assaulted in the bedroom. The philosopher went to investigate, and found Mike Tyson advancing upon the model Naomi Campbell. When Ayer told him to desist, Tyson shouted back, “Do you know who the fuck I am? I’m the heavyweight champion of the world.” In an apogee of mind over matter, 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.” Campbell left the room; the philosopher and the boxer began a dialectic.

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