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As perception ( Latin perceptio of percipere detect "take notice") is called

  • on the one hand the totality of the processes of perception ,
  • on the other hand, the content of the perception itself.

Conceptual content

Perceptions are primarily unconscious processes of individual information and perception processing, which create images of perceived aspects of reality in the awareness of the information recipient .

The process of perception has the effect that the information coming from outside is unwillingly structured and classified in a certain way in the knowledge system of the information recipient . Perceptions are therefore selectively subjective inventory of the external environment. They are relatively static.

Perception refers not only to the purely subjective result of the perception process ( percept ), but also to the neurophysiological processes on which it is based (sensory perception).

Under perception in the sense defined above, one should not only subsume the processes of apprehending , recognizing and judging , i.e. the mental processing of what is perceived, which today - in a more strict sense - would be called apperception or even cognition . This includes a deliberate application of attention . Perception in the broader sense, on the other hand, also includes unconscious and emotional processes of feeling .

Concept history

The term was already used in the Stoa to denote clear and infallible perception. In modern times, the term was originally used by René Descartes as perceptio ab imaginatione et a sensibus (comprehension through imagination and senses). In English empiricism and sensualism , it meant sensual perception. With John Locke , perceptions do not contain “compound ideas”. When George Berkeley , the formula is esse est percipi (being is perceiving), with the being is tied to the perception. As a result, turned Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz of apperception as the clear and self-awareness is perceived, the perception as a vague and fuzzy precursor of thinking over and also differed about another " small perception " that is imperceptible and remains below the threshold of consciousness. “Our indefinite impressions, our taste, our perceptual images of the sensual qualities are based on them, all of which are clear in their being together, but confused in their individual parts; The infinite impressions that the bodies surrounding us make on us are based on them, and thus the connection in which every being stands with the rest of the universe. Indeed, one can say that by virtue of these little perceptions the present becomes pregnant with the future and is filled with the past, that everything agrees with one another and that eyes that would be as penetrating as God's, in the least substance, the whole sequence of movements of the Universe. ”By making sleep and dream the subject, Leibniz opened up the subject of the unconscious to philosophy .

With Immanuel Kant the perceptio is a subspecies of the representations in general ( repraesentatio ) and specifically those with consciousness (KrV B 375). Within these are ideas in which the subjective state changes, sensations ( sensatio ). For Kant, objective perceptions are cognitions ( cognitio ). On the other hand, he called apperception the consciousness of oneself. A new twist of the term's content occurs with Johann Friedrich Herbart , in which the perception referred to the reception of what was sensually perceived (in Kant: intuition = intuitio ), while he called apperception the appropriation and processing. Finally, Wilhelm Wundt uses the metaphor of seeing to describe perception and distinguishes perception as the entry of an idea into the field of vision of consciousness, while apperception is the entry into the focus of attention. In the twentieth century, Alfred North Whitehead in Process and Reality hit an analog to Leibniz distinction by perceptions in the mode "causal efficacy" ( causal efficacy ) vague and indefinite called, while perceptions in the mode "mediating immediacy" ( presentational immediacy ) clear and be done deliberately controlled. Both forms of perception are part of the prehension of reality and are given their meaning by being linked to a “symbolic reference”, including the subjective pre-imprint ( subjective form ).

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Perception  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
  • Friedrich Kirchner: Perception , in: Dictionary of basic philosophical terms. (1907)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Cicero : De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum. V, 76
  2. John Locke: An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding . II 9 ( of perception )
  3. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz : New treatises on the human mind. Introduction.
  4. ^ Kurt Flasch : Battlegrounds of Philosophy: Great Controversies from Augustin to Voltaire. Klostermann, Frankfurt 2008, 308.
  5. Wilhelm Wundt: Principles of Physiological Psychology II. 235 ff.
  6. Whitehead first introduced the concept in Cultural Symbolization .