Italian Neighbours: An Englishman in Verona by Tim Parks

By Tim Parks

An account of the author's ten years of residing in Italy. With an Italian spouse and an Italian kin surrounding him, the writer initiates the reader into the entire delights and foibles of small city existence.

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The other attraction of Badiou's schema is that one can apply it to any pro­ cess in one's personal or professional life and condemn friends, lovers and colleagues for committing leftist or rightist deviations. Before terror is unleashed in the workplace in the name of the continuity of the dialectic, note that Badiou theorizes these deviations as possibilities built into the very process rather than subj ective faults; it is not cowardice, greed, cynicism or stupidity but a lack of trust in force that leads to a rightist deviation - there are no deviants, only deviations.

That is, the postulate on which these two geom­ etries differ the postulate that through one point external to a line one and only one parallel line passes is actually independent of the axioms that guarantee the consistency of Euclidean Geometry (CM, 64 6/ 1 42 5). In other words, the parallels postulate cannot be deduced from the other axioms. Badiou then turns to examine the historical effect in mathematics of such proofs of relative consistency and independence. He admits that Godel's proof of the consistency of Zermelo Fraenkel set theory plus the Axiom of Choice ZFC came after the fact; most mathematicians had already chosen to use the axiom, thus anticipating its certainty.

The problem , however, with these solutions is that they answer the demands of what Althusser called 'dialectical materialism' and its concern to theorize theoretical production . They do not answer the demands of historical materialism, the science of society, which is co nsecrated to thinking social and political change. The limitations of Badiou's solution in Concept de modele are revealed in the penultimate chapter by the paucity of his assertions concerning the existence of an indirect relation between the field of his work the 'theory of the history of the sciences' and proletarian ideology.

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