Monday | Truth


Top of Mind

One of the topics that has been on my mind very frequently for many months is the concept of truth throughout the teaching of Lacan. Here are some of the questions that I’ve been considering.

  1. What is the relationship between truth and knowledge?
  2. What is the effect of knowledge, of coming to know something and being able to articulate that knowledge in speech or writing, in truth?
  3. What happens when somebody “knows” and believes (i.e., experiences the effects of truth) something that is not true?
  4. Does the concept of “the truth of the unconscious” become the concept of “the lying truth”?
  5. Is the lying truth another formulation of the fundamental fantasy, or is it something that comes from/out of the fundamental fantasy?

Considering truth has had the effect of making me think a lot about knowledge.

At this moment, I think of knowledge as experience that can be particularly captured within the symbolic. It is a way of taking something a subject has experienced inside or outside their body and putting it into words that can transmit something about that experience to the self and other subjects or the Other.

Sometimes, knowledge has an effect on the body, the impact of feeling truth in a personal and subjective way. Like when a person knows that an accusation leveled against them is accurate, as in “You’ve been having an affair.” Or when something is revealed that has been suspected, “We want you to know you’re adopted.”

Other times, it seems true in a factual, universal way that has little to no subjective impact. For example, I know Lancing is the capital of Michigan, but I don’t care about this.

Sometimes, both of these, like knowing when and where an event will take place and simultaneously knowing that it will be impossible for you to get yourself there.

Knowledge and truth. Truth and knowledge. Heavy stuff.

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