Society of Fellows Big Thinkers — Day Two

Let’s start our roundup of yesterday’s action in the West region. For Hobbes, life in this tournament truly was nasty, brutish and short. Facing upstart Maimonides, the Leaping Leviathan went completely cold, airballing ill-advised propositions from all over the court in a 56-47 loss.

This was the first of many upsets on the day. 12th seed Voltaire squeaked by #4 Rousseau 63-61. After the game, Voltaire was seen mocking his French comrade, noting that “all is for the best.” Elsewhere, the upstart crow Shakespeare was sent packing to the undiscovered country, losing 76-58 to lower seeded Kierkegaard. The young Dane displayed an impressive leaping ability, which may prove useful in the later rounds. Finally, two seed Descartes closed out the Midwest action with a clear and distinct 95-70 victory over Du Bois. With many of the higher seeds knocked out, a quarterfinal match up seems almost inevitable between the Cartesian cogitist and his scholastic archrival Aquinas.

Turning to the Midwest, Kant coolly dismantled Fichte’s daunting Wissenschaftslehre, exposing the vulnerable ungrounded I at its core. The final score was 73-61, although the outcome was never in doubt. In the only other Midwest game, Deleuze sought to decode the libidinal flows of the neoliberal economy, but Smith’s capitalist rhizome engulfed him 67-63.

In the East, Marx outclassed Weil 83-62, and Arendt dispatched Habermas 57-49. Some doubts had been expressed about Foucault’s #2 seed, but he gained new respect in an overpowering 78-49 win against Wollstonecraft. In a much closer match, Bertrand Russell topped Adorno 76-72. The Frankfurter had a chance at the end, but was doomed by a futile search for the balding present king of France.

Lots of action in the South region last night. Aristotle defeated Malcolm X 65-57, in a game that was surely too close for comfort for the peripatetic top seed. Copernicus outschemed Machiavelli 78-71. Ricoeur, perhaps outraged at the misspelling of his name on the bracket, hermeneuticized Averroes 83-63, while Darwin used his superior fitness to pummel Gandhi 79-47. In another big upset, Southern powerhouse Augustine lost 78-68 to Ptolemy. The Big Hippo was flummoxed by the astronomer’s intricate epicyclic defense. Finally, Weber topped Kuhn 70-55. Kuhn’s revolutionary paradigm-shift passing strategy had been effective in per-tournament conference play, but it proved incommensurate to the no-nonsense, disenchanted defense of Weber.

That’s it for the Round of 64. I’ll be reporting on the first day of Round of 32 action tomorrow morning.

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