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New Zealand


2014 Symposium

Friday 28 February - Sunday 2 March


Seminar XI. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis 


“... before you, I ask the question – What are the fundamentals, in the broad sense of the term, of psychoanalysis? Which amounts to saying – What grounds it as a praxis? What is a praxis?... It is the broadest term to designate a concerted human action, whatever it may be, which places man in a position to treat the real by the symbolic.”     Jacques Lacan


In 1963 Lacan was excluded from the Société française de psychoanalyse, of which he had been a member for many years, on account of his refusal to alter his practice or to stop training analysts. Lacan likened this to an excommunication. His seminar of 1964, Seminar XI The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis was his response to this event. It marked a number of breaks, from the Société, from the IPA, and from Lacan’s previous approach to using Freud’s texts as the foundation of his teaching. While still remaining true to Freud’s discoveries, Lacan in Seminar XI begins his own exploration of what constitutes the praxis and transmission of psychoanalysis. He examined the four major concepts named by Freud: the unconscious, repetition, transference and the drive.