The Freudian unconscious is not defined on the basis of consciousness but on the basis of speech. Freud’s discovery of the unconscious was founded on the fact that the dreams, slips, and symptoms he encountered in his practice meant something, that they were driven by a wanting-to-say. The Freudian unconscious is an unconscious that speaks, that speaks the truth.
Lacan goes a step further by placing the unconscious among the four fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis.
Speaking of the unconscious, Lacan speaks of the subject: the subject of the unconscious.
At this point of his teaching, it is not a question of reality but of truth, of the truth elaborated by the subject. It is not the question of what is there, but of the manner in which what is there is spoken of. This is why Lacan, in speaking of the Unconscious, introduces the word subject; so that it will not be confused with objects and facts.
To speak of the subject of the unconscious implies speaking of a subject confronted with his lack of being. The introduction to the unconscious is also an introduction to the lack of being of the subject: the subject confronted with what escapes from him, with what repeats and what imposes itself despite himself.
This seminar, guided by the teaching of Jacques-Alain Miller, offers three meetings on the introduction to Lacanian psychoanalysis, and to the question of the unconscious in the teaching of Jacques Lacan.