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WILLIAM FLEMING - 1890 - Table of contents

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H- I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W  

Diccionario filosófico
Complete edition

Diccionario de Filosofía
Brief definition of the most important concepts of philosophy.


A Dictionary of English Philosophical Terms Francis Garden


Vocabulary of Philosophy, Psychological, Ethical, Metaphysical
William Fleming

Biografías y semblanzas Biographical references and lives of philosophers

Brief introduction to the thought of Ortega y Gasset

History of Philosophy Summaries

Historia de la Filosofía
Explanation of the thought of the great philosophers; summaries, exercises...

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Jaime Balmes

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Zeferino González

Vidas, opiniones y sentencias de los filósofos más ilustres
Complete digital edition of the work of Diogenes Laertius

Compendio de las vidas de los filósofos antiguos

A brief history of Greek Philosophy
B. C. Burt


A Short History of Philosophy





APPERCEPTION. (1) Internal Perception, or Consciousness; (2) Self-consciousness or Knowledge of Self involved in consciousness, as distinguished from knowledge of the modifications in consciousness. For this meaning, Kant uses apperception, as distinct from bewusstseyn.


Leibnitz uses apperception as equivalent to consciousness, or the knowledge of our own states. "The transient state which includes and represents the manifold in unity or in a simple substance," he would call perception, "which ought to be distinguished from Apperception or Consciousness,"—"de l'apperception ou de la conscience " (Leibnitz, La Monadologie, sec. 14; Leibnitii Op. Phil., Godmann, l XXXVIII. 706; Reid, Intellectual Powers, essay II. ch. XXV.). On the French term conscience, see Stewart's Philosophical Essay, essay I., introd., notes, Works, v. 56.

"By apperception," the Leibnitzio-Wolfians meant "the act by which the mind is conscious immediately of the representative object, and through it, mediately of the remote object represented" (Sir W. Hamilton, Reid's Works, note D*, sec. I. p. 877). It is thus equivalent to consciousness.

Kant reserves the term apperception for consciousness of self, and thereafter distinguishes between empirical and transcendental apperception. "The consciousness of oneself, according to the determinations of our state, is, with all our internal perceptions, empirical only, and always transient. There can be no fixed or permanent self in that stream of internal phenomena. It is generally called the internal sense, or the empirical apperception" (Critique of Pure Reason, Transc. Anal., bk. I. ch. II. secs. 2, 3 ; Max Müller's transl., II. 94). With this is to be connected his transcendental apperception. "It must be possible that the I think should accompany all my representations; for otherwise something would be represented within me that could not be thought... That representation which can be given before all thought, is called intuition, and all the manifold of intuition has therefore a necessary relation to the I think in the same subject in which that manifold of intuition is formed. That representation, however, is an act of spontaneity, that is, it cannot be considered as belonging to sensibility. I call it pure apperception, in order to distinguish it from empirical apperception, or original apperception" (Critique of Pure Reason, Transc. Anal.; Werke, ed. Rosencranz, vol. II. suppl. 14. So given in ed. Max Müller, I. 434. Meiklejohn gives it in text, p. 81).

Cousin also employs the term as equivalent to consciousness, saying that "the phenomenon of consciousness is given by an immediate apperception (par une aperception immediate) which attains it and knows it directly" (History of Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, lect. XXIV.; Cours de I'Hist. de la Phil., II. 441, 1829; Wright's transl. II. 314; Henry's transl., Elements of Psychology, p. 277). "An apperception of consciousness is knowledge or it is nothing" (ib.). "The special characteristic of all knowledge of consciousness is directness and immediateness" (ib.). "But it is not with the Self, as with the sensation, volition, or thought... the understanding is provided with the principle,—that every phenomenon supposes a being... this is the principle by which Self or personality is revealed; I say revealed, for Self does not fall under the immediate apperception of consciousness... As soon as an apperception of consciousness is given, we cannot help judging that the subject of it, the Self, I, exists... It is enough to have a phenomenon of consciousness, and then, on the instant, and without the second term, Self, being previously known, the understanding, by its own innate efficacy, by the principle which in such a case directs it, conceives, and in some sort divines, but divines infallibly this second term as the necessary subject of the first" (lect. XXIV.). Cousin holds that there is a spontaneous and a reflective exercise of Reason; that the Idea of the Absolute is given in the spontaneous reason, and is interpreted by philosophy; and that the spontaneous reason is impersonal, the absolute reason revealing itself (Course of Philosophy, lect V., with appendix and preface to Philosophical Fragments).



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