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.
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
with appendix and preface to Philosophical Fragments).