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A priori a posteriori

The terms a priori ("from the earlier") and a posteriori ("from the later") are used in philosophy (epistemology) to distinguish two types of knowledgearguments:

  • A priori knowledge or justification is independent of experience (for example "All bachelors are unmarried"). Galen Strawson wrote that an a priori argument is one in which "you can see that it is true just lying on your couch. You don't have to get up off your couch and go outside and examine the way things are in the physical world. You don't have to do any science.";[1]
  • A posteriori knowledge or justification is dependent on experience or empirical evidence (for example "Some bachelors are very happy"). A posteriori justification makes reference to experience; but the issue concerns how one knows the proposition or claim in question, or better say, what evidences one has to verify the validity of proposition.

There are many points of view on these two types of assertions, and their relationship is one of the oldest problems in modern philosophy.

They are primarily used as adjectives to modify the noun "knowledge", or taken to be compound nouns that refer to types of knowledge (for example, "a priori knowledge"). However, "a priori" is sometimes used as an adjective to modify other nouns, such as "truth". Additionally, philosophers often modify this use.
For example, "apriority" and "aprioricity" are sometimes used as nouns to refer (approximately) to the quality of being "a priori".[2]

Although definitions and use of the terms have varied in the history of philosophy, they have consistently labelled two separate epistemological notions. The intuitive distinction between a priori and a posteriori knowledge is best seen in examples.

Source: en.wikipedia.org