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Apperception: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Apperception [from the Latin, ad-: to, toward, or to go near + percipere: to perceive, gain, secure, learn, or feel] is a term that can describe various aspects of perception and consciousness in such fields as psychology, philosophy and epistemology.


Meaning in psychology

In psychology, apperception is "the process by which new experience is assimilated to and transformed by the residuum of past experience of an individual to form a new whole."[1] In short, it is to perceive new experience in relation to past experience.

Example 1: We see a fire (visual perception). By apperception we correlate the appearance of fire with past experiences of being burned. Having combined present and past experience we realize this is a situation in which we should avoid placing our hand in the fire and being burned.[2]

Example 2: A rich child and a poor child walking together come across the same ten dollar bill on the sidewalk. The rich child says it is not very much money and the poor child says it is a lot of money. The difference lies in how they apperceive the same event -- the lens of past experience through which they see and value (or devalue) the money.[3]

Meaning in philosophy (Kant)

In philosophy, Immanuel Kant distinguished transcendental apperception from empirical apperception. The first is "the pure, original, unchangeable consciousness that is the necessary condition of experience and the ultimate foundation of the unity of experience." The second is "the consciousness of the concrete actual self with its changing states", the so-called "inner sense." (Otto F. Kraushaar in Runes[1]). See Kantianism.

Meaning in epistemology

In epistemology, apperception is "the introspective or reflective apprehension by the mind of its own inner states."[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Runes, Dagobert D. (ed.), Dictionary of Philosophy, Littlefield, Adams, and Company, Totowa, NJ, 1972.
  2. ^ From a discussion of apperception by William James, "Talks to Teachers," Chapter 14
  3. ^ The Evolution of Perception and the Cosmology of Substance by Christopher Ott, 2004.

Further reading

  • Yao, Zhihua (2005). The Buddhist Theory of Self-Cognition. (Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism) (Hardcover). Routledge. ISBN 978-0415344319
  • Runes, Dagobert D. (ed.), Dictionary of Philosophy, Littlefield, Adams, and Company, Totowa, NJ, 1972.

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

APPERCEPTION (Lat. ad and percipere, perceive), in psychology, a term used to describe the presentation of an object on which attention is fixed, in relation to the sum of consciousness previous to the presentation and the mind as a whole. The word was first used by Leibnitz, practically in the sense of the modern Attention, by which an object is apprehended as "not-self" and yet in relation to the self. In Kantian terminology apperception is (1) transcendental - the perception of an object as involving the consciousness of the pure self as subject, and (2) empirical, - the cognition of the self in its concrete existence. In (1) apperception is almost equivalent to self-consciousness; the existence of the ego may be more or less prominent, but it is always involved. According to J. F. Herbart apperception is that process by which an aggregate or "mass" of presentations becomes systematized (apperceptionssystem) by the accretion of new elements, either sense-given or product of the inner workings of the mind. He thus emphasizes in apperception the connexion with the self as resulting from the sum of antecedent experience. Hence in education the teacher should fully acquaint himself with the mental development of the pupil, in order that he may make full use of what the pupil already knows.

Apperception is thus a general term for all mental processes in which a presentation is brought into connexion with an already existent and systematized mental conception, and thereby is classified, explained or, in a word, understood; e.g. a new scientific phenomenon is explained in the light of phenomena already analysed and classified. The whole intelligent life of man is, consciously or unconsciously, a process of apperception, inasmuch as every act of attention involves the appercipient process.

See Karl Lange, Ueber Apperception (6th ed. revised, Leipzig, 1899; trans. E. E. Brown, Boston, 1893); G. F. Stout, Analytic Psychology (London, 1896), bk. ii. ch. viii., and in general text-books of psychology; also Psychology.

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