Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ronaldo's card

Some more football and philosophy. Correspondents to the Guardian's excellent football email, the Fiver, have been wondering about Cristiano Ronaldo's conduct at the world cup, apparently encouraging the referee to send off Wayne Rooney. What matters is not the ethics of what he did, but rather the metaphysics. Here is the last contribution, for the 30 August edition:
"Re: Cristiano Ronaldo pretending to wave an imaginary card (Gareth Bayford, yesterday's Fiver letters). Either he pretended to wave a card, or he waved an imaginary card" - Julian Wassell
Is Julian Wassell right? It seems to me that he may not be. It is not possible to wave an imaginary card -- there is no card there to wave after all -- so all one can do is pretend to wave it. Perhaps I have been reading too much Parmenides: you cannot say what is not nor can you wave it...

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