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.

    • ‘Performances provide another such context as audiences are brought together in a heightened awareness of sharing patterns of embodied apperception.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This could throw additional light upon the unconscious psychodynamic processes governing the perception and apperception, both sensory and extrasensory, of potentially threatening stimuli.’
    1. 1.1 Fully conscious perception.
      ‘an immediate apperception of a unity lying beyond’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Self-consciousness, or the subject of the transcendental unity of apperception, was likewise impervious to cognition from the Kantian standpoint.’
      • ‘These kinds of mental acts seem to be less naturally treated as atomic elements in a bundle, bound by a passive 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’.