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A priori

DOI
10.4324/9780415249126-P001-2
Versions
Published
2011
DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-P001-2
Version: v2,  Published online: 2011
Retrieved October 16, 2018, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/a-priori/v-2

Article Summary

An important term in epistemology since the seventeenth century, ‘a priori’ typically connotes a kind of knowledge or justification that does not depend on evidence, or justification, from sensory experience. Talk of a priori truth is ordinarily shorthand for talk of truth knowable or justifiable independently of evidence from sensory experience; and talk of a priori concepts is usually talk of concepts that can be understood independently of reference to sensory experience. A priori knowledge contrasts with a posteriori knowledge, knowledge requiring evidence from sensory experience. Broadly characterized, a posteriori knowledge is empirical, experience-based knowledge, and a priori knowledge is nonempirical knowledge. Standard examples of a priori truths are the truths of mathematics, whereas standard examples of a posteriori truths are the truths of the natural sciences.

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Citing this article:
Moser, Paul K.. A priori, 2011, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-P001-2. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/a-priori/v-2.
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