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A Priori

“A priori” is a Latin term that translates to “from the earlier” or “from the former.” In philosophy and epistemology, it is frequently used to describe knowledge or information that is independent of experience, gained through reason or deduction rather than through empirical observation.
There are two main types of knowledge: a priori knowledge and a posteriori knowledge.

  1. A Priori Knowledge:
    • Definition: Knowledge that is independent of experience, acquired through reasoning, deduction, or intuition.
    • Example: Mathematical truths, such as 2 + 2 = 4, are often considered a priori knowledge because they can be known without relying on empirical observation.
  1. A Posteriori Knowledge:
    • Definition: Knowledge that is derived from experience, observation, or empirical evidence.
    • Example: The statement “Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius at sea level” is a posteriori knowledge because it is based on empirical observations of water boiling under specific conditions.

Philosopher Immanuel Kant made significant contributions to the understanding of a priori knowledge. He maintained that certain truths are known independently of experience and are inherent in the structure of human thought. He asserted, for instance, that fundamental principles of mathematics and logic are a priori, as they are necessary for organizing our sensory experiences.
In summary, “a priori” refers to knowledge that is not derived from experience but is known independently through reasoning or intuition.

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