Thursday, 16 December 2010

Where does Parky stand on Wittgenstein?

This is not a question I have heard asked of the manager at a post-match briefing. But it was provoked by a contribution to the Glynne Jones list in which the writer argued that Parky's problem was not one of resource constraints, but his philosophy.

This reminded me of the famous Monty Python sketch Python in which the German philosophers play the Greeks, refereed by Confucius. They spend almost all the 90 minutes contemplating the ball or engaging in dialectical exchanges. Then, just as the whistle is about to blown, Archimedes has a 'Eureka!' moment and sets up Socrates who guides the ball into the back of the net, although Marx claimed it was offside.

I don't see Parky as following any of the continental philosophers. It would have to someone from England which rules out David Hume who might otherwise be a candidate but played for Scotland. Thomas Hobbes would have been a great central defender (he was reputedly 6ft. 5 ins.) and had the temper to go with it. Locke I see as an egg chaser. John Stuart Mill I see as a repressed version of Pardew, with an eye for an attractive woman but slow to make his move.

I think that the clear winner is Jeremy Bentham. Parky is by necessity pretty much a utilitarian (a stance satirised by Dickens in his portrait of Mr Gradgrind). I can see him as being very big on 'the facts'. Admittedly, Bentham had some Dowie-like ideas which included having himself stuffed and put in a glass case. You can see him from time to time at Universiy College London where I set up my desk in the capital next week.

Bentham did, however, believe in the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Attendances are down at The Valley and those who are there are not very happy much of the time so it may be that Parky is not maximising their utility.

One fan has written in to comment, 'Given the hullabaloo over the last few days...... Foucault?? Mind you, I'm always in favour of nice, simple approaches, so I'd recommend Macchiavelli (if only he'd written a manual for good football management, along the lines of The Prince).'


Daggs said...

Have you opened the Christmas sherry Wyn?
I've no idea what you are on about!

Wyn Grant said...

Some people have told me they found it really funny.

Anonymous said...

I found this really funny.
I like it when Addicks Championship Diary goes highbrow.

For what it's worth Pardew is Derrida and Curbs is Kant.

Chris said...

The Monty Python sketch is brilliant. I'm completely out of my depth here, but Pardew - Derrida I get. That's very good. A complete Charlatan, the arrogant Pardew fools a lot of people a lot of the time. But Curbs - Kant? Too much for me. Isn't Curbs the ultimate pragmatist? In any event, according to tonight's Evening Standard, Parky seems to want to follow Curb's philosophy whatever it is. Not sure where that leaves Wittgenstein, but I doubt he'd be good for the dressing room!!

Wyn Grant said...

For Curbs you really need some kind of homespun philosopher, they have them in America e.g., Benjamin Franklin, but less so in the UK.

newyorkaddick said...

Wyn, I found it funny even though I didn't understand it.

Please do Charlton managers as Greek gods next (who was the God of the long ball? Hoofus? Lumpus?)

Anonymous said...

I just think Kant very clearly thought there were set limits of human understanding, and curbs endorsed this "p'raps I don't know, do results breed confidence or does confidence breed results"

American pragmatism of Dewey et al p'raps.