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Slavin, M.O. (2019). Does Truth Matter? Introduction to Papers by Jody Davies, Shlomit Gadot, and Donnel Stern. Psychoanal. Dial., 29(2):159-164.

(2019). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 29(2):159-164

Does Truth Matter? Introduction to Papers by Jody Davies, Shlomit Gadot, and Donnel Stern

Malcolm Owen Slavin, Ph.D.

Each of these three essays touches on the universal meaning and relevance of truth. Yet all are dealing with the relational truths that survive and hold us after the 2016 election amounted to a loss of certain assumed truths of everyday life.

Donnel Stern asks, If relational truth is constructed, dialogical, multiple, how does this belief survive when we find ourselves outraged, by what seem like cavalier untruths—lies, some kind of runaway, twittered, subjective truth? He argues that a credible, measurable, objectivity about certain truths indeed survives perfectly well within our overall relational worldview.

Shlomit Gadot adds that truth, relational truth, does and can exist most stably in our essential recognition of the multiplicity of (often relationally shaped) premises, frameworks, perspectives on truth. What “matters” when truth becomes threatened with serious shattering (here in a clash with love) is that she begins with an effort at genuine openness to the truth of the other.

Jody Davies implies that relational truth at virtually in all levels is embedded with the trauma narrative of truth, its meanings, and motivated hiding as we know it clinically. Truth survives its subjective shattering by recognizing that within the sociopolitical realm, we are being abused and traumatized by political authority and an abusive father.

The complexity of relational truth may involve creatively grieving certain certainties about truth that we may have experienced as lost. Truth in these three essays may lie in our overall effort to be equal to the full complexity of that loss and, paradoxically, to become expanded and more deeply connected through that experience.

[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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