From negation to negationism: the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil

Author: Paulo Beer1
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  • 1 University of São Paulo, , Brazil
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Even beyond the dramatic social and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, one can affirm that the manner in which the pandemic was and is being handled in Brazil involves more than mere questions of public health. This article focuses on the negationist discourse that emerged in Brazil, and proposes that its roots are to be found in a previous process of dismantling established knowledge and identifications. This process is observed in the government’s handling of the pandemic. To support this idea, we refer to two main clinical and theoretical frameworks, the first of which involves a psychoanalytic understanding of the place of truth in discursivity and in identification processes; this will be employed to shed light on a particular functioning of negationist discourses. Second, the idea of historical ontology is introduced from the philosophy of science to gain a further understanding of the effects of this process on identification.

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  • 1 University of São Paulo, , Brazil

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