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The various sense-perceptions experienced do not in themselves constitute knowledge. They are as so many disconnected stones awaiting the cement which is to unite them into one solid mass or building. The process by which the manifold sense-perceptions are combined in our cognition is termed by Kant synthesis or correlation. This action is the work of the intellect and is accomplished in what he calls the "categories." The categories, then, are the inherent means by which sense-perceptions are transformed into intellectual knowledge, just as space and time are the inherent agencies by which sensations are transformed into sense-perceptions or sense-knowledge. The categories, therefore, like the forms of space and time, are a priori, since the connection of sense-perceptions is not the work of the senses but can be accomplished only by the intellect or understanding of the person who perceives. They are explained in detail by Kant under the head of "Transcendental Logic." There we find the categories to be twelve in number, divided into four classes, corresponding to the classification of judgments, into judgments of quantity, quality, relation, and modality. Knowledge, according to Kant, is first produced by the synthesis of what is manifold. This, however, is not yet true knowledge. The concepts which impart unity to this pure synthesis rest on the understanding; and these pure concepts of the understanding which refer a priori to objects of intuition in general, are called by Kant categories. The function of the categories is, therefore, to combine the multiplicity of sense-perceptions into a unity of knowledge; and the spontaneous activity of the categories which synthesizes the manifold of our experience into the unity of consciousness is called by Kant "apperception.'


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Apperception, then, according to Kant, is spontaneous activity which combines in consciousness the various impressions and ideas offered through the senses. Kant, however, distinguishes two sorts of apperception. He applies the term "pure" or "primitive" apperception to that self-consciousness which spontaneously combines perceptions independently or in advance of all experience. The relations of various perceptions are recognized and the perceptions united in consciousness previous to all experience. On the other hand, Kant designates as "empirical" apperception that which follows as a result of experience; in other words, empirical apperception is that process by which the un

derstanding combines several perceptions because they have on previous occasions been associated in time or space.12 When a child, for instance, looks into the fire, and without knowing the nature of fire, but remembering a former painful experience says, "the fire will burn my finger," it performs an act of empirical apperception. If, however, a person who had never seen fire but had read and studied the nature of certain elements and substances were to state that fire will burn paper, wood, and cloth, but will not burn asbestos, his would be an act of pure apperception.

Kant's theory of apperception may, therefore, be briefly summarized as follows: The senses, outer and inner, supply the objects of our sensations; the matter of the sensation, i. e. the object perceived, is acted upon by the form of space or time supplied by the mind, the result of which is sense-perception. The separate sense-perceptions are now connected by the categories, which are imposed by the understanding, and we then have intellectual knowledge. The process of combining the various senseperceptions by means of this spontaneous activity of the understanding is called apperception; pure if accomplished in advance of experience, and empirical if it is the result of a previous experience of the subject.

A comparison of Kant's idea of apperception with the theory of Leibnitz will reveal the following resemblances and differences. In both we find the activity of the senses resulting in sensations, sensations developing into sense-perceptions, and sense-perceptions combined to produce knowledge. Both theories contain the idea of the spontaneous activity of the understanding in synthesizing our various impressions and sense-perceptions. In both also we discover the essential element of self-consciousness; but while self-consciousness is the final stage in the theory of Leibnitz, it is an ever-present factor in that of Kant, who considers it as active from the initial stage of sensation. In consequence of this difference there is evident a further contrast between the two theories,-Leibnitz maintains that the soul has unconscious perceptions, whereas Kant, looking upon consciousness as ever active, necessarily excludes the possibility of unconscious perceptions. Kant, however, limits our knowledge to a knowledge of appearances, while no such limitation is evinced in the theory of Leibnitz. The idea of apperception as conceived by Leibnitz

is psychological, while that of Kant is philosophical, rather a theory of knowledge.

Herbart's idea of apperception is neither purely psychological as that of Leibnitz, nor purely philosophical as that of Kant. His view of the subject is developed in its relation to the science and art of teaching, hence is applied, and therefore pedagogical in its tendency. He defines apperception in general as the knowledge of one's own mental processes. "Im Allgemeinen heisst Apperception soviel, als das Wissen von dem, was in uns vorgeht.'' Its basis is necessarily simple perceptions by which the mind becomes conscious of objects presented to it for consideration. In the process of apperception, a simple perception as it enters consciousness calls up a number of other perceptions of a similar nature which have previously become the property of the mind. In the light of these existing ideas, the mind examines the new perception, notes the resemblances and differences between it and the pre-existing ideas, thus acquiring a complete knowledge and understanding of it by the comparison. The result is that the new perception, thus thoroughly studied in its relation to the ideas already present in the mind, is then combined with and made a part of them, in other words, it is assimilated or apperceived. The old and new perceptions work upon each other. The new may simply add a further element to the ideas already possessed or it may correct some erroneous note connected with the mass of ideas. New thought-combinations are formed until the new perception is properly placed in the store-house of the mind. No great length of time is consumed by the process; in some instances apperception may be simultaneous with the act of perception, while in other cases the mental assimilation will follow after an appreciable time. Much depends upon the strength and clearness of the pre-existing ideas; if they are strong and well-defined, the process of apperception goes on rapidly, whereas if they are weak and vague, the process will be slow, and will result in less accurate knowledge. In view of this process, Herbart gives a more detailed definition in which he describes it as "That interaction of two analogous presentations or groups of presentations, whereby the one is more or less reformed by the other and ultimately fused with it." Karl Lange in his treatise on Herbart's idea of apperception gives a

13 Herbart, Lehrbuch der Psychologie, p. 48. Sammtliche Werke, Leipzig, 1887. 14 Felkin, İnt. to Herbart's Science and Practice of Education, p. 36. Boston, 1900.

similar definition. "Apperception is," he states, "that psychical activity by which individual perceptions, ideas, or idea-complexes, are brought into relation to our previous intellectual and emotional life, assimilated with it, and thus raised to greater clearness, activity, and significance. ''15

Herbart distinguishes two classes of ideas which may constitute this process of apperception. The first is the interaction of a new percept with old ideas as above described, the result of which Herbart terms outer apperception and describes thus: "Die Auffassungen desselben werden appercipirt oder zugeeignet, indem ältere gleichartige Vorstellungen erwachen, mit jenen verschmelzen, und sie in ihre Verbindungen einführen."'16 Here the old ideas are the apperceiving or apperception mass, the new percept is the idea to be apperceived. The older ideas are the stronger, the ruling power; while the new must permit itself to be placed by the old in its proper position. The second process does not imply any addition from without but consists of the interaction of weaker and stronger notions already possessed, which at some particular time are reproduced or called up. New relations are discovered to exist between them, resemblances and differences not previously noted now present themselves, and though both have been for some time active forces in the mind. they are now readjusted or re-cast. This process is designated by Herbart as inner apperception or apperception of inner perception. In this case the stronger notions are the apperceiving, while the weaker form the matter to be apperceived.

Having thus seen how perceptions, according to Herbart, are worked over into apperceptions, the question naturally arises, is this the inevitable lot of all perceptions, i. e., do all perceptions flow over into apperceptions? While it is highly desirable that such should be the case, and certain that this process very often follows a simple perception, it nevertheless can not be stated as an invariable rule. There are some exceptions, for experience proves to us that there are some perceptions which are never apperceived. If the mind has not previously acquired any ideas related to the new perception, there will be no recognition, no point of contact between the ideas already possessed and the new one now presented to the mind, hence there can be no interaction, no re-forming, no assimilation, and evidently

15 Lange, Apperception, p. 41. Boston, 1902.

16 Herbart, Psychologie als Wissenschaft, p. 192. Leipzig, 1850.

no apperception. These, however, are rare exceptions, and it is precisely this important phase of the subject that should form the basis of all principles and methods of education. The practical bearing of this question will be considered in the following chapter of this dissertation, hence a mere mention of its significance will suffice here.

Admitting then that all perceptions do not become apperceptions, i. e. are not apperceived, let us examine the conditions that are necessary to bring about the much-desired assimilation. The first is very emphatically stated by Herbart in the following passage: "Die appercipirende Vorstellungsmasse kann nicht aus neuen, noch in wenigen Verbindungen befindlichen Vorstellungen bestehn; nur in den vielfach zusammengeflossenen und durch einander verstärkten Totalkräften wird man sie suchen dürfen. Also vorzüglich in den Begriffen und in den daraus gebildeten Urtheilen, die man auch Maximen nennen kann."'17 Lange in his development of this topic adds several other conditions, the necessity of which is very evident. He says: "Perceptions which are to be apperceived must be neither too new, nor too strange; neither too weak, nor too volatile. The new percept must be met by a sufficient number of apperceiving ideas, that is, such as offer enough points of contact with the new, and are sufficiently strong, and cross the threshold of consciousness at the proper time. Above all, the apperceiving notions can not be raw, chaotic, or only loosely connected masses, but must be well perfected series of ideas. "'18 The agencies by which the apperceiving ideas are stimulated to act upon the new perceptions are called by Herbart categories. The categories which aid in the assimilation of objects of the outer world are categories of outer apperception, and are identical with the categories of Kant; those which result in a knowledge of the workings of the soul are the categories of inner apperception, and designate either feeling or knowledge, either volition or action.19 These latter enable man to arrive at a clearer knowledge of his inner self, and hence the process of inner apperception is identified by Herbart with self-observation.

From the above brief outline of Herbart's idea of apperception, it is evident that it is far more practical in its bearings than that of Leibnitz or Kant, and therefore has exerted a more

17 Op. cit., p. 197.

18 Lange, Apperception, p. 258.

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