The starting point of the present paper is the classification of three different meanings of the unconscious, respectively defined as psychological, philosophical and psychoanalytical. The first meaning is scarcely relevant in the study of Freudian speculations, and is related to a behavioristic genealogy which also partially influences cognitive modularism. This approach identifies the psyche with the unconscious, and tends to interpret consciousness as a sort of epiphenomenon. The second meaning is linked with twentieth-century phenomenological research, with the continuous structure of consciousness, and with Husserl’s diagrams of temporality, and is assimilated to the psychoanalytic concept of the preconscious. The third meaning is analyzed through a deconstructionism that creates a short-circuit between Freud and Heidegger’s speculations. These analyses lead to a discontinuous model of consciousness, which is endowed with a peculiar porosity and constitutes a condition for a possible manifestation of the unconscious. The final stage of the present paper is Derrida’s absolute past, which allows for a better philosophical understanding of Freud’s unconscious.
Keywords: Behaviorism, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, consciousness, unconscious, temporality.