The first thing we are going to do before analyzing the meaning of the term
apprehend is to know its etymological origin. In this case, we can say that it
is a word that derives from Latin, exactly from the verb "apprehendere" that can
be translated as "catch". It is the result of the sum of the following
-The prefix "ad-", which means "towards".
-The component "prae-", which is synonymous with "before".
-The verb "hendere", which is equivalent to "grab" or "catch".
The concept of apprehend may refer to capturing, catching or picking up something
or someone. For example: "An agent tried to apprehend the
criminal, but the young assailant managed to escape", "The police
mounted an operation with the objective of apprehending the terrorists", "The
judge ordered the apprehension of the singer for the crime of fraud".
The idea of apprehending is also used as a synonym for learning,
according to the second meaning mentioned in the dictionary prepared by the
DigoPaul. The action consists of the acquisition
It is usual, however, that apprehending is used with reference to "capturing" that
knowledge: that is, to make it one's own. The person who
apprehends something gets it for himself and guarantees to have it forever or,
at least, for a long period. Therefore, to apprehend implies to understand
perfectly the information, assimilating it and being able to reuse it from the
In this sense, learning a lesson to repeat it and
thus passing an exam is not the same as apprehending the data and assimilating
it. A student can complete a course with good grades and yet not have a real
mastery of the subjects. On the other hand, those who really manage to apprehend
the contents increase their intellectual heritage and may, in the future, turn
to these symbolic tools that are already part of their being.
From these ideas, it can be affirmed that, when reading a
text, a person can learn (and repeat or "use" the information) or
apprehend (interpret and reinterpret the information).
Precisely for all the above, apprehending takes on special prominence within
education and, above all, in subjects such as philosophy. And it is that the
teachers who teach this consider that the final objective to achieve with the
classes is that their students learn. Of course, because it is the way that they
can not only assimilate the knowledge but also compare it with each other and
even establish their logic.
Furthermore, in the philosophical branch, apprehending is necessary to
subject everything that is exposed to criticism. In this way, students will get
to have the “tools” necessary to reason, to analyze anything in their life, to
compare it and even to understand it and know how to act before it.
Yes, they will have the ability to question the questions that are raised, to
refute them and even to reaffirm them through the corresponding arguments. Some
learnings that will not only be important for class but for life in general,
both in the present and in the future.