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Mills, J. (2014). Truth. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 62(2):267-293.

(2014). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 62(2):267-293


Jon Mills

What exactly do we mean by truth? Although the concept is nebulous across the array of theoretical perspectives in psychoanalysis, it is fundamental to all discourses. Is psychoanalysis in a position to offer a theory of truth despite the fact that at present it has no explicit, formal theory regarding the matter? A general metatheory is proposed here that allows for discrete categories and instantiations of truth as metacontextual appearance. In revisiting the ancient notion of aletheia as disclosedness or unconcealment, we may discover a distinct psychoanalytic contribution to truth conditioned on unconscious processes reappropriated from Heidegger's project of fundamental ontology. Construed as a dialectics of truth, this notion accords well with how psychoanalysts understand the dynamic unconscious and how it functions to both reveal and conceal. Given that clinical experience demonstrates the workings of dynamic unconscious activity, psychoanalytic theory may contribute a vocabulary relevant to philosophy by explicating the motives and mechanisms that create the appearances of contextual truth as such, phenomena whose causes have previously gone undescribed.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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