Tuesday, April 15, 2008

what the hell??

I'm putting together a powerpoint for a talk I'm giving next week, and I needed images of a few philosophers. So to Google Image Search I turned. And amongst the results appeared the following:

Yeah. That is Immanuel Kant and a Ford Pinto. What? The image context doesn't help: a car-nut message board topic concerning the "Meanest Looking Car Ever in History". Is the Ford Pinto made more mean-looking by the presence of Kant's gigantic glowering head?

A bit of procrastinatory web searching turns up several plagiarism websites offering "The Ford Pinto and Kant's Categorical Imperative" essays. So here's my hypothesis: some business ethics textbook somewhere uses the Ford Pinto as a case study, and includes this image. (By the way - oh my goodness, do I hope to someday catch an ethics student turning in a plagiarized essay. Oh, I can't imagine what fun I'll have with such a student!)

Does anyone have any better theories about this image? I mean, I know that the Ford Pinto only acted from maxims that could be rationally willed universal, but there must be something more to it. Noumena?

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