Hurrah, the Ashes are retained. But have the (Aussie) philosophers changed?

5 Aug
Aussie philosopher David Stove from simon

‘Immanuel Kant was a real pissant who was very rarely stable’. David Stove, a genuine Aussie philosopher.

Now that the Ashes have been retained, albeit in a soggy and less than glorious way at Old Trafford, it’s time to turn our minds to other things. Such as philosophy. This blog has already covered (at some length) the change in attitudes between the England and Australia teams regarding the importance of the Ashes series. Our thesis has been that the Australians are regarding it as a game, whereas for the English, it is rather more than that.  This in itself is something of a role reversal.

When I realised this, I was reminded of a fascinating essay by Australian philosopher David Stove, entitled ‘Cricket versus Republicanism’. (Yes, I am uncomfortably aware of Monty Python’s ‘Aussie Philosophers’ Song’, but philosophy is exactly what his business was. You can read his essay in its totality here http://web.maths.unsw.edu.au/~jim/cvr.html ,but I feel it is worth quoting at length. Stove argues about the reasons why Australia tended to beat the Poms more than :

“that it is due to a difference in attitude towards the opponent: that whereas the Australians hate the Poms, the Poms only despise the Australians. I was very interested, therefore, when Neil Harvey, during the wonderful centenary test just ended, said something similar only in politer words: that Australians always want to win more than their English opponents do…

“There was, for example, a severe kind of poetry in what Greg Chappell said to Terry Jenner when the latter fell, bleeding from the head, hit by a short ball from Snow at the SCG a few years ago, and the ball careered away unregarded. Unregarded by everyone, that is, except the non-striker Chappell, whose only comment to Jenner was, “There was a single in it.” Has not that the real Duke-of-Wellington touch?”

This perfectly illustrates what the current Australian side, and the current Australian Weltanschauung lack. I’m not sure they’ll ever get it back. They probably won’t mind too much. They’ve got a grown-up country, and a flourishing economy, and those things matter a whole lot more in the real world.

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One Response to “Hurrah, the Ashes are retained. But have the (Aussie) philosophers changed?”

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  1. Hurrah, the Ashes are retained. But have the (Aussie) philosophers changed? | mistersjrobinsonltd - August 5, 2013

    […] Hurrah, the Ashes are retained. But have the (Aussie) philosophers changed?. […]

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