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Apperception (from the new Latin adpercipere to perceive) means the clear and conscious reception of the respective content of an experience, a perception or a thought.


Leibniz differentiates between apperception, perception and petites perceptions . He reserved the term apperception for the mental process through which what is sensually given is grasped, appropriated, raised into consciousness and classified in a context of consciousness through attention and memory . In contrast, he speaks of unclear and vague perceptions of perceptions and of their preliminary stages, the not clear and mostly unconscious, physical and sensory "perceptions" of petites perceptions .

Kant distinguished between psychological or empirical apperception , the ability of the mind to form clear ideas from sensory perception and to combine the various perceptions into a unified idea through the activity of the inner sense, on the one hand, and on the other hand, pure or transcendental apperception as the ability of the Consciousness in general, which includes understanding and reason and from which the universally valid and necessary unity of all understanding and reasoning arises.

Theodor W. Adorno adopts the term from Walter Benjamin in connection with an attentional apperception of light music, such as jazz for dancing or alongside conversation.

Another use of the term can be found in Wilhelm Wundt ( Grundzüge der Physiologische Psychologie , 1874, III § 15), who differentiated between active, voluntary and passive, unprepared apperception.

A modern term that is closely related to apperception is cognition .

Above all, the novelist Heimito von Doderer popularized the counter-term of apperception refusal in the context of educational language, perhaps even invented it. He means the refusal to see the world as it is.

Web links

Wiktionary: Apperception  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Georgi Schischkoff (Ed.): Dictionary of Philosophy. 22nd edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 1991, Lemma Apperception.
  2. Brockhaus: Philosophy. Mannheim u. Leipzig 2004, Lemma Apperception.
  3. Monadologie , written 1714, German 1720, LS 14; New Treatises on the Human Mind , probably 1707, Book II: From the Ideas, chap. 1 f.
  4. ^ Theodor W. Adorno - Dissonances. Music in the managed world . Frankfurt am Main 1956
  5. ^ Heimito von Doderer - Albert Paris Gütersloh: Correspondence 1928–1962. Edited by Reinhold Treml. Munich 1986, p. 19 Google Books .