Definition of apperception in US English:



  • 1The mental process by which a person makes sense of an idea by assimilating it to the body of ideas he or she already possesses.

    • ‘From seashore strands to moors and mountains, from sand specks and protozoa to all-embracing panoramas, knowing and feeling were conjoined, not conflicting, modes of apperception.’
    • ‘Where people differ is in the way that each of them typically makes use of the equipment; and this typical mode of apperception and responsiveness is what is meant in psychology by their type.’
    • ‘This could throw additional light upon the unconscious psychodynamic processes governing the perception and apperception, both sensory and extrasensory, of potentially threatening stimuli.’
    • ‘This apperception is indispensable because in the past non-state actors have been mere critics instead of playing their rightful role as eulogistic vehicles in the course of development.’
    • ‘Performances provide another such context as audiences are brought together in a heightened awareness of sharing patterns of embodied apperception.’
    1. 1.1 Fully conscious perception.
      ‘an immediate apperception of a unity lying beyond’
      • ‘These kinds of mental acts seem to be less naturally treated as atomic elements in a bundle, bound by a passive unity of apperception.’
      • ‘Self-consciousness, or the subject of the transcendental unity of apperception, was likewise impervious to cognition from the Kantian standpoint.’
      • ‘In the sabbath, we find a foretaste and an apperception of the common good in the rest we receive for ourselves and the rest we ensure for others.’
      • ‘There can be no question of an ultimate justification of morality in the sense of a transcendental deduction of the moral law in terms of the ‘I think’ and the transcendental unity of apperception.’
      • ‘He was the first to distinguish explicitly between perception and apperception, i.e., roughly between awareness and self-awareness.’


Mid 18th century: from French aperception or modern Latin aperceptio(n-), from Latin ad- ‘to’ + percipere ‘perceive’.