Skip to main content

30% Off New Releases: Explore the List

Harvard University Press - home
Truth Games

Truth Games

Lies, Money, and Psychoanalysis

John Forrester

ISBN 9780674001794

Publication date: 04/14/2000

Lying on the couch, the patient must tell all. And yet, as the psychoanalyst well knows, the patient is endlessly unable--unwilling--to speak the truth. This perversity at the heart of psychoanalysis, a fine focus on intimate truths even as the lines between truth and lies are being redrawn, is also at the center of this book of essays by the renowned historian of psychoanalysis John Forrester. Continuing the work begun in Dispatches from the Freud Wars, Truth Games offers a rich philosophical and historical perspective on the mechanics, moral dilemmas, and rippling implications of psychoanalysis.

Lacan observed that the psychoanalyst's patient is, even when lying, operating in the dimension of truth. Beginning with Lacan's reading of Freud's case history of the Rat Man, Forrester pursues the logic and consequences of this assertion through Freud's relationship with Lacan into the general realm of psychoanalysis and out into the larger questions of anthropology, economics, and metaphysics that underpin the practice. His search takes him into the parallels between money and speech through an exploration of the metaphors of circulation, exchange, indebtedness, and trust that so easily glide from one domain to the other.

Original, witty, incisive, these essays provide a new understanding of the uses and abuses and the ultimate significance of truth telling and lying, trust and confidence as they operate in psychoanalysis--and in the intimate world of the self and society that it seeks to know.

Praise

  • [Forrester] combines the stance of the Lacanian professional with that of the professional historian and leavens them both with the relaxed prose of the English man of letters...Truth Games is the odd but largely happy result of 20 years' research designed to produce an inquiry into two questions: whether psychoanalysis can really uncover a truth about the self; and whether one can speak with any imagination about the currency that secures the bond between analyst and patient, the bond--let us be frank about it, Forrester says--of money.

    —Perry Meisel, New York Times Book Review

Authors

  • John Forrester was Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge.
  • Adam Phillips is Principal Child Psychotherapist in the Wolverton Gardens Child and Family Consultation Centre, London.

Book Details

  • 224 pages
  • 5-5/8 x 8-11/16 inches
  • Harvard University Press
  • Foreword by Adam Phillips

From this author

Recommendations