Not for the first time, vandals are wreaking havoc in central Europe. Russian police say they're looking for the intellectually minded miscreants who graffitied "Kant is a moron"—along with a flower and heart—on the philosopher's home outside Kaliningrad.
With Arthur Schopenhauer dead for 155 years, however, authorities start off with few strong leads. They say no reason, pure or otherwise, was given for the crime. Whoever left the marking did not elaborate on their antipathy, though they reportedly used a relatively mild term.
Even the timing of the crime is unclear—journalists discovered the note, at once crude and rather refined, while exploring Kant's derelict home. Despite repeated promises of restoration, the house remains in sorry shape, according to The Telegraph.
Kaliningrad is the capital of a small Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea, but in Kant's day it was Königsberg, a Prussian and German city. It was only at the end of World War II that it switched to Soviet control as the Nazi regime crumbled, and in 1946 the city was renamed.
Philosophy may have a reputation for impenetrability and for arid classroom discussion today, but for those who would reclaim the discipline's more raucous reputation of the past, the graffiti is perhaps a positive sign, and maybe the first salvo in a war between Situationists and Enlightenment thinkers. Indeed, a critic of Kant's ideas might feel a categorical imperative to take such direct action.