In this article,we investigate the relationship between truth and knowledge in the so-called “post-truth era” by means of Lacanian psychoanalysis. Drawing on contemporary examples, we isolate two problematic disjunctions. The first one is epistemological: it concerns empiricist versus historicists accounts of science, and its relationship to truth. The second one is political: it concerns the distinction, articulated around the signifier “science”, between the politics of truth and the politics of post-truth. By unpacking Lacan’s statement that psychoanalysis operates upon the subject of science, we claim that the distance between psychoanalysis and science with regards to truth is ultimately a political one. Building on this, we mobilise Lacan’s theory of discourse to argue that the binary opposition between politics of truth and politics of post-truth reveals a failure to think contemporary political issues precisely as political.
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