Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Links and Notes

* Carnivalesque XXXIV is up at "Cardinal Wolsey's Today in History".

* Philosophers' Carnival LIX is up at "Buffalo Philosophy".

* A lovely online edition of Augustine's Confessions (in Latin), with detailed commentary (in English).

* David Corfield and Alexandre Borovik have established a blog for a research project on philosophical and mathematical aspects of infinity, called A Dialogue on Infinity.

* Currently reading: Minhyong Kim, Mathematical Vistas (PDF)

* Recommended for those interested in logic and natural language: Ronald Cordero, Subcontraries and the Meaning of "If...then".

* An interesting philosophy weblog in Portuguese: Mente, Cérebro e Ciência, by Miguel Amen. As you can tell from the title, it primarily discusses issues in philosophy of mind. My Portuguese is a bit weak, but there are some interesting-looking posts on Frankfurt dilemmas that I'll be working through. (I became aware of it because he quotes my sidebar in an early post and I noticed the link in my pageload logs.)

* I had someone reach my site the other day by searching for Brandon is the Son of God. That I'm not is something for which we all should be thankful.

* There needs to be some better word than 'elevated' for this:

Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, leader of the ancient Chaldean Church, celebrated the two-hour Mass three weeks after Pope Benedict XVI elevated him to the top ranks of the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

I've seen it used half a dozen times in this connection. Usually people who are made Cardinal are indeed elevated; they are Roman Catholics who have been elevated to the College of Cardinal. But Mar Emmanuel III Delly is not a Roman Catholic; he's Eastern Catholic. Moreover, he is an Eastern Catholic patriarch, which means it's inaccurate to describe his entry into the College of Cardinals as an 'elevation', just as it would be inaccurate to describe as a 'promotion' a situation in which the Prime Minister of Canada were knighted by the Queen of England. A patriarch of a sui generis Church is already top rank in the Catholic Church, and exceeds in rank any mere Cardinal; the only real 'elevation' would be to Pope. But, in any case, it's a bit misleading to call the College of Cardinals the 'top ranks' of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, even though it is often true. For one thing, it's possible for Cardinals not to be part of the hierarchy at all; lay Cardinals used to be quite common (although under current canon law, which requires papal dispensation for it, they are not). Further, no priest or deacon outranks a bishop in the hierarchy, but there are Cardinal priests and Cardinal deacons. Moreover, ever since the Pope has started giving the red hat to Eastern Catholic patriarchs as a sign of respect, Cardinals need not even be part of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Rather the College should be seen as one of several papal instruments whereby the work of the papal see is carried out.