POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

The Great Philosophers on March Madness and Bracketology

What Would They Say About March Madness and Bracketology?

[Updated 3/20/06 : Due to UNC's recent loss to lowly George Mason University (no offense), the illustrations below of the philosophy of the great thinkers lose some force.   However, not being a fair weather fan, I stand by the arguments below.  Though I may have to be an antirealist to hold the one that says Dook sucks...they still look pretty good]


There is a perfect basketball bracket, but all brackets are but shadows of the form. Though the bracket last year where UNC defeated a powerful Illinois team came very close to the good. I came to this through use of the dialetic with a Dook fan.

AristotleEthically, one can find a a good bracket by approaching the golden mean. One should not just pick all top seeds, or all upset games, but in moderation, you may approach a virtuous good life in March Madness.
PlotinusThe basketball teams all emerge from the world soul and all eminates and flows forth from the one. Do you know what the heck I am talking about?
AugustineYou cannot teach me about basketball brackets using signs and symbols for we all innately know by divine light the truth about basketball.
BoethiusGod knows all things from a standpoint of eternity, even though the games must be played in time with players making good shot selections. For we indeed are guilty of taking bad shots.
AnselmIn all knowledge of basketball, I have faith in my team, though my faith is seeking understanding. In fact, I have an a priori proof that UNC is a necessary team. First, would you agree that UNC is That Than Which Nothing Greater Can Be Thought?
AquinasOne must properly demonstrate from the principles of reason that UNC is the best team. Anselm is a fine boy, but on crack. We have no knowledge in the mind except that which first exists in the senses. Here are five ways (a posteriori) that demonstrate that UNC is the greatest team, by way of observing their effects.
DescartesHere is how I pick my bracket. I just doubt I can do it...but then, because I am doubting, I know I have the foundation from which to build my picks. I pick, therefore I win!
PascalThe one who picks Dook and the one who picks UNC both make a wager. But are both choices equal? Say if I choose UNC and they win it all - I have gained everything, say I pick UNC and they are not the greatest, I have had a good pick and still loose nothing. If I pick Dook and I am right, great I win, but don't really know this for I am dead. But if I am wrong - I have lost everything
HumeDo we really have knowledge of the causes for our bracket choices and the winner of games? We think we do, but we just know this by custom. For it is neither a matter of fact or a relation of ideas.
Kant - Ethically Categorically, one has the imperative to pick the Tarheels. If one does not, it makes all picking impossible.
Kant - EpistemologicallyConcepts without Brackets are Empty. Brackets without Concepts are Blind. So the categories in your basketball mind, structure the reality of your bracket.
HegelThe thesis that Kentucky is the greatest basketball program is challenged by the antithesis that Dook is the greatest. I think the synthesis that is spawned is the UNC must be the best - we are moving towards an ideal.
WittgensteinI don't really think we can talk about brackets and basketball, but you have your own language game, so by all means talk about basketball games.
A. J. AyerMr. Ayer, Dook sucks! Well, Reid your feelings of basketball ethics are meaningless, only statements that are either analytic or empirically verifiable are meaningful. Wait Mr. Ayer, that statement is neither analytic or empirically verifiable. I knew you were wrong...so Dook sucks!
DeriddaCar-olina or Carolin-a. Yeah Jaques, but South Carolina sucks, and there is a difference!
PlantingaBelief that UNC is the best college basketball team is properly basic in one's noetic structure. As long as one can defeat the defeaters for such a belief one is rationally warranted in holding it. A broader foundation is appropriate in religious epistemology. Joe and Suzy Tarheel are rationally justified to believe that UNC is the best; even without proof. But Reid has developed a dozen or so proofs that many other believers ought to make use of