Philosophers World Cup: Group G Preview

Today’s Philosophers World Cup preview is for Group G, one of the most talented groups in the PWC. After the break, rosters and predictions for the group that features the Yanks, the Black Stars, Os Navegadores, and die Mannschaft. Refer to the introduction to understand what this is all about.



As expected, Germany easily won its UEFA qualifying group, finishing merely two points shy of a perfect score in a group which included a fearsome but disappointing Austrian side. Portugal finished second to Russia and bested a favored Israeli side to setup a playoff against Sweden, which Portugal won without too much fuss. In the CAF, the Black Stars of Ghana demolished Egypt to secure qualification. Like Germany, the United States did what was expected of it and won the CONCACAF group four points clear of Costa Rica.

Group G is one of the most talented groups in the Philosophers World Cup, but that does not change the fact that the top half of the group is considerably better than the bottom half. The German team has perhaps more famous names than any other team in the tournament. From revered keeper Martin Luther to noted striker G.W.F. Hegel, the Germans are expected to play strong in every area of the field. Whether or not the idealistic strikers and attacking midfielders will be able to mesh with the more materialist defenders remains to be seen, but German spirits are high. Left back Walter Benjamin speaks of the revolutionary potential of this World Cup while Leopold von Ranke sees it as Teutonic destiny. Media members have questioned the overly theoretical nature of the German side, but defensive midfielder Max Weber counters that team captain Luther has instilled in them a work ethic that will give them the edge over their opponents.

The rather pragmatic Americans will be offer up the stiffest opposition to Germany victory in the group. The US relies on strikers Hayden White and Judith Butler to provide sparks of post-structuralist creativity with the play of midfielder Ralph Waldo Emerson providing some fluidity in the center of the pitch.  However, Critics are skeptical if the counterattacking United States can create goal scoring opportunities with its emphasis on the rigid thinkers of pragmatism and analytic philosophy. “Imagine that you have the option of playing for a team that can counterattack and play defense and one that cannot. Which would seem the better proposition to you?” defensive midfielder John Rawls asked the press. If the US defense can take advantage of the more abstract German strikers and execute its counterattack, then the Americans have a great chance of taking the group. Otherwise, Germany’s aggressive play will prove too much for the USA.

In a less top-heavy group, both Ghana and Portugal could compete for a spot in the knockout stage. In Group G, both are looking to best the other for the pride of not finishing last. Like many second-tier European teams these days, the Portuguese side is loaded with theologians. Sweeper Anthony of Padua comes in as one of the most popular players in the tournament, being the patron saint of both the poor and oppressed as well as travelers. Portugal relies on him and center backs Enrique Henríquez and John of St. Thomas to frustrate defenders near the box. Ghana is widely considered to be the best squad in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ghana’s roster boasts noted winger Anton Wilhelm Amo, one of the first players from Africa to play in the European leagues, and contemporary star Kwasi Wiredu, perhaps the foremost striker in Africa today. Despite its talent, it is unlikely that Ghana will have much success in this Philosophers World Cup. Even so, the Black Stars might be able to leave the tournament with their heads held high regardless of what happens on the pitch. As the young midfielder Kwame Anthony Appiah explained to the media, “Win or lose, if the tournament brings people together as one human race then I will consider our presence here a success. If, however, it merely fractures people into small, xenophobic national groups then I will look back on this experience with shame.”

United States




Corpus: German
Martin Luther (1483) [Theology]
Immanuel Kant (1724)
G. W. F. Hegel (1770)
Leopold von Ranke (1795) [History]
Karl Marx (1818)
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844)
Max Weber (1864) [Sociology]
Martin Heidegger (1889)
Walter Benjamin (1892) [Aesthetics]
Hannah Arendt (1906) [Political]
Jürgen Habermas (1929)




Corpus: Spanish
Anthony of Padua (1195) [Theology]
Pedro da Fonseca (1528)
Enrique Henríquez (1536) [Theology]
Francisco Sanches (1550)
Uriel da Costa (1585)
John of St. Thomas (1589) [Theology]
Francisco Macedo (1596) [Theology]
António Vieira (1608) [Theology]
Agostinho da Silva (1906)
Vitorino Magalhães Godinho (1918) [History]
José Gil (1939)



Corpus: English
Anton Wilhelm Amo (1703)
Carl Christian Reindorf (1834) [History]
J. B. Danquah (1895)
Kwame Nkrumah (1909) [Political]
Kwesi Dickson (1929) [Theology]
Kwasi Wiredu (1931)
Mercy Oduyoye (1934) [Theology]
Kwame Gyekye (1939)
Kwame Arhin (c. 1950)
Ato Sekyi-Otu (c. 1950)
Kwame Anthony Appiah (1954)

United States

United States

Corpus: English
Jonathan Edwards (1703) [Theology]
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803)
William James (1842)
John Dewey (1849)
John Rawls (1921)
Thomas Kuhn (1922)
Noam Chomsky (1928) [Linguistics]
Hayden White (1928) [History]
Richard Rorty (1931)
Fredric Jameson (1934) [Aesthetics]
Judith Butler (1956)


“Corpus” refers to the preferred Ngrams language corpus that is used in matchups, not the official or majority language spoken in that country.

Fields that appear in brackets refer to theorists who are not thought of as philosophers in the stricter sense. This is important per roster rule limits.

I am on vacation this week, so the final group preview will not be posted on Thursday. Instead, Group H will be up on Tuesday, June 10.



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