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introspection in·tro·spec·tion (ĭn'trə-spěk'shən)
Contemplation of one's own thoughts, feelings, and sensations; self-examination.
A feature of some programming languages that allows a running program to obtain information about its own implementation.
For example, the Lisp function, "symbol-function" takes a Lisp symbol and returns the function definition associated with that symbol. Lisp is particularly suited to introspection because its source code uses the same underlying representation as its data. Another example is Perl's "can" method which returns true if a given object's class provides a given method.
(from Latin introspicere, "to look within"), the process of observing the operations of one's own mind with a view to discovering the laws that govern the mind. In a dualistic philosophy, which divides the natural world (matter, including the human body) from the contents of consciousness, introspection is the chief method of psychology. Thus, it was the method of primary importance to many philosophers-including Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume, James Mill, John Stuart Mill, and Alexander Bain-as it was to the 19th-century pioneers of experimental psychology, especially Wilhelm Wundt, Oswald Kulpe, and Edward Bradford Titchener.