from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Conscious perception with full awareness.
  • n. The process of understanding by which newly observed qualities of an object are related to past experience.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The mind's perception of itself as the subject or actor in its own states, unifying past and present experiences; self-consciousness, perception that reflects upon itself.
  • n. Psychological or mental perception; recognition.
  • n. The general process or a particular act of mental assimilation of new experience into the totality of one's past experience.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The mind's perception of itself as the subject or actor in its own states; perception that reflects upon itself; sometimes, intensified or energetic perception.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. That act of the mind by which it becomes conscious of its ideas as its own; perception (which see) with the added consciousness that it is “I” who perceive.
  • n. Hence, by a slight modification
  • n. With Kant and most English writers, an act of voluntary consciousness, accompanied with self-consciousness: especially in the phrase pure apperception.
  • n. In the psychology of Herbart (1776–1841), the coalescence of the remainder of a new isolated idea with an older one, by a modification of one or the other.
  • n. Apprehension; recognition.
  • n. In Wundt's psychology, the process whereby a perception or idea attains to clearness in consciousness; also, the introspective contents of this process, that is, the clear idea itself and the changes resulting in consciousness from the induction of the attentive state.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the process whereby perceived qualities of an object are related to past experience


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

New Latin apperceptiō, apperceptiōn- : Latin ad-, ad- + Latin perceptiō, perception; see perception.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French aperception (modern Latin apperceptio, used by Gottfried Leibnitz (1646-1716)).


  • This is an act of "apperception" -- taking many separate pieces of evidence and experience and forging them together into a unified representation.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • Furthermore, some souls are sometimes also in a position to engage in apperception, that is, to reflect on their inner states or perceptions.

    Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

  • This rapid, knowledge-guided perception, sometimes called apperception, can be seen in experts in other fields as well.

    Mind Hacks: SciAm on the expert mind

  • (It was a feature of the psychology of their day to contrast consciousness or awareness, called apperception, with perception.)

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • But the figurative synthesis, when it has relation only to the originally synthetical unity of apperception, that is to the transcendental unity cogitated in the categories, must, to be distinguished from the purely intellectual conjunction, be entitled the transcendental synthesis of imagination.

    The Critique of Pure Reason

  • Given the apparent impossibility of justifying a project whose internal organization rests on our acceptance of a hypothesis about matters prior to experience -- thereby precluding all verification or falsification by experience -- Kant introduces a new type of pre-conscious symbolization in order to ensure both, the self-conscious integrity of the philosophical subject known as "apperception" and the rationality and legitimacy of its representations as knowledge.

    Bringing About the Past

  • In Kant's conception, my apperception has necessary unity since all of my representations must be grounded “in pure apperception, that is, in the thoroughgoing identity of the self in all possible representations” (B131 “ 2, emphasis mine).

    Kant's Transcendental Arguments

  • Perhaps the word 'apperception' flourished in their eyes and ears as it nowadays often is, embodies as much of this mystification as any other single thing.

    Talks To Teachers On Psychology; And To Students On Some Of Life's Ideals

  • "apperception" in the human soul, is the bond of substantial continuity, the bridge that joins together the two kinds of substances, matter and mind which Descartes so inconsiderately separated.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 9: Laprade-Mass Liturgy

  • Visitors are offered the bread crumbs on the floor beneath the big table of cultural apperception.

    Richard Bangs: Naked in Brazil


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • JM can't get his apperception receptor working today - maybe it has gone digital.

    January 18, 2011

  • "'So you had a sex change,' Marshall Gardiner said, dismissing it like he might brush off a wartime affair. 'We both have histories. You are and I am our mass apperceptions.'"

    - Kendrick Blackwood, 'A Woman Scorned,' The Pitch, 2001.

    May 13, 2009

  • While it is true that memes are communicated by mimicry, it doesn't have to be exact.

    Somehow this reminds me of a clinical trial I once worked on where the endpoint of primary interest, rather than being just the incidence of hypoglycemic episodes, was subjects' awareness of their hypoglycemic episodes. Quite a slippery concept to measure.

    March 28, 2008

  • "Music is a curious medium. Utterly abstract in its construction, but completely sensuous in its apperception. Tunes, rhythms can only be conveyed by exact mimicry. They are not ideas."

    - 'Mozic And The Revolution', Germaine Greer in Oz, 1969.

    March 27, 2008

  • The perceiving of perceiving. Cf. Gurdjieff's "Self Remembering".

    In epistemology: the introspective or reflective apprehension by the mind of its own inner states.

    July 8, 2007