a priori/a posteriori
A contrast first between propositions. A proposition is knowable a priori if it can be known without experience of the specific course of events in the actual world. It may, however, be allowed that some experience is required to acquire the concepts involved in an a priori proposition. Something is knowable only a posteriori if it cannot be known a priori . The distinction gives one of the fundamental problem areas of epistemology . The category of a priori propositions is highly controversial, since it is not clear how pure thought, unaided by experience, can give rise to any knowledge at all, and it has always been a concern of empiricism to deny that it can. The two great areas in which it seems to do so are logic and mathematics, so empiricists have commonly tried to show either that these are not areas of real, substantive knowledge, or that in spite of appearances the knowledge that we have in these areas is actually dependent on experience. The former line tries to show that all a priori propositions are in some sense trivial, or analytic, or matters of notation or conventions of language. The latter approach is particularly associated with Quine, who denies any significant split between propositions traditionally thought of as a priori, and other deeply entrenched beliefs that occur in our overall view of the world.
Another contested category is that of a priori concepts, supposed to be concepts that cannot be ‘derived’ from experience, but which are presupposed in any mode of thought about the world: time, substance, causation, number, and the self are candidates. The need for such concepts, and the nature of the substantive a priori knowledge to which they give rise, is the central concern of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason .

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • A priori and a posteriori (philosophy) — A priori redirects here. For other uses, see A priori. : A posteriori redirects here. For the Enigma album, see A Posteriori. The terms a priori and a posteriori are used in philosophy primarily to distinguish between two different types of… …   Wikipedia

  • a priori — ● a priori adverbe et adjectif invariable (latin a priori, en partant de ce qui est avant) En se fondant sur des données antérieures à l expérience (par opposition à a posteriori) : Un raisonnement a priori. Avant tout examen approfondi ; de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • A priori et a posteriori — Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « a posteriori », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) « a priori », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) La locution a priori[1] désigne les connaissances logiquement… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • A Priori — et a posteriori Voir « a priori et a posteriori » su …   Wikipédia en Français

  • A priori — et a posteriori Voir « a priori et a posteriori » su …   Wikipédia en Français

  • À priori — A priori et a posteriori Voir « a priori et a posteriori » su …   Wikipédia en Français

  • a priori — /a pri ɔri/ locuz. lat. mediev. ( da ciò che è prima ). ■ agg. 1. (filos.) [di giudizio non ricavato dall esperienza, ma formulato dalla ragione] ▶◀ ‖ deduttivo. ◀▶ a posteriori. ‖ empirico, induttivo. 2. (estens.) [di giudizio espresso senza… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • a priori — [ā΄ prī ôr′ī, ā΄prīôr′ē; ä΄prī ôr′ī, ä΄prīôr′ē] [L, lit., from what precedes < a, ab, from + priori, abl. of prior: see PRIOR] 1. from cause to effect or from a generalization to particular instances; deductive or deductively 2. based on… …   English World dictionary

  • A priori — A pri*o ri [L. a (ab) + prior former.] 1. (Logic) Characterizing that kind of reasoning which deduces consequences from definitions formed, or principles assumed, or which infers effects from causes previously known; deductive or deductively. The …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • a priori — a Latin term meaning ‘from what is before’, is pronounced with a as in hate and with both is as in eye. It is used to characterize reasoning or arguing from causes to effects, as in the proposition ‘Because they were wearing handcuffs it was… …   Modern English usage

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