The only reason Monty Python’s Flying Circus persists in its popularity is the complexity of the humor. A philosophical inquiry about the relationship between scientists and the philosophers of science brought back distant memories of this brilliant skit about a soccer (football) match between the greats of Greek and German philosophy.
Now that I’m a little older, presumably and hopefully a little bit wiser, and ostensibly better informed, this skit is funnier than ever. I still don’t know why Beckenbauer is a surprise member of the German lineup. Do you?
Then again, I don’t care to know why Beckenbauer is the real surprise. It might not be as funny.
Update: I was possessed by morbid curiosity. I looked up Beckenbauer cited in the skit. He is Franz Beckenbauer, one of the greatest footballers who ever lived. A real athlete in a philosophy match is a surprise, indeed. And, after reading the script for this skit, I’m laughing even harder. Indeed, these are perhaps the three greatest objections to the validity of a goal anyone ever dreamt.
The Germans are disputing it. Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside.