Truth and Suffering

Psychoanalysis, Science and the Production of Symptoms

Paulo Beer, preface by Nelson da Silva Júnior, and translated by Renata Takatu

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The question of truth within the construction of knowledge on suffering.

Although truth occupies a central position in philosophy and the philosophy of science, there is much debate about its actual role in scientific practice. Truth and Suffering explores different conceptions of truth and their profound influence on our understanding and approach to suffering. By discussing how different definitions of truth shape distinct ways of producing knowledge, the analysis prompts reflection on the impact of knowledge production on people's lives.

Drawing on the work of authors from psychoanalysis and the philosophy of science, this book challenges dominant mental health paradigms, particularly the hegemony of biologic psychiatry. It resists attempts to naturalise symptoms and emphasises the need for ethical and political factors to be consistently taken into account when addressing suffering.

Offering a clear and original approach to an important and complex debate, Truth and Suffering is of interest not only to specialist readers in a variety of fields, ranging from philosophy of science to psychoanalysis, but also provides an introduction to newcomers interested in these discussions.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

This book will be made open access within three years of publication thanks to Path to Open, a program developed in partnership between JSTOR, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), University of Michigan Press, and The University of North Carolina Press to bring about equitable access and impact for the entire scholarly community, including authors, researchers, libraries, and university presses around the world. Learn more at

Format: Monograph - ebook

250 pages

ISBN: 9789461665539

Publication: April 15, 2024

Series: Figures of the Unconscious

Languages: English

Paulo Beer is a psychoanalyst, professor and researcher in São Paulo, Brazil.

This manuscript offers a very relevant contribution to the field of psychoanalysis, in its articulation with the philosophy of science. The author's originality lies in the way he conducts a debate between the philosophy of science and psychoanalysis, or more specifically, a debate between Hacking and Lacan, from which we can draw epistemological, ethical and political consequences, which at the same time allows to stabilise theoretical parameters and to support clinical and therapeutic practices. - Aline Sanches, Universidade Estadual de Maringá


This is a very accomplished piece, which manages to stay focused and offer an important contribution to matters of ‘evidence’, ‘truth’ and what that means epistemologically and politically. The work is inviting, fluid, well-written and helpful to many scholars of related fields. - Ana Minozzo, University of Essex