Apperception  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Apperception (Latin ad + percipere, to perceive) has the following meanings:

  • In epistemology, it is "the introspective or reflective apprehension by the mind of its own inner states" (Ledger Wood in Runes).
  • In psychology, it 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" (Ledger Wood in Runes). 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. (From a discussion of apperception by William James, "Talks to Teachers," Chapter 14)
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. (The Evolution of Perception and the Cosmology of Substance by Christopher Ott, 2004.)
  • In philosophy, Kant distinguished empirical apperception from transcendental apperception. The first is "the consciousness of the concrete actual self with its changing states", the so-called "inner sense". The second is "the pure, original, unchangeable consciousness which is the necessary condition of experience as such and the ultimate foundation of the synthetic unity of experience" (Otto F. Kraushaar in Runes). See Kantianism.
  • The eastern concept of the sanskara can also be looked upon as a form of apperception - seeing events through the lens of accumulated impressions.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Apperception" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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