Thursday, July 21, 2011

a priori



a priori [ˌeɪ praɪˈɔraɪ] advb. and adj. phr.

1.) A phrase used to characterize reasoning or arguing from causes to effects, from abstract notions to their conditions or consequences, from propositions or assumed axioms (and not from experience); deductive; deductively.
2.) Hence loosely: Previous to any special examination, presumptively, in accordance with one's previous knowledge or prepossessions.
3.) By some metaphysicians used for: Prior to experience; innate in the mind.

Etymology: Medieval Latin a priori: Latin a, from + priori, ablative of prior, former.

"Es ist also wenigstens eine der näheren Untersuchung noch benötigte und nicht auf den ersten Anschein sogleich abzufertigende Frage: ob es ein dergleichen von der Erfahrung und selbst von allen Eindrücken der Sinne unabhängiges Erkenntnis gebe. Man nennt solche Erkenntnisse a priori, und unterscheidet sie von den empirischen, die ihre Quellen a posteriori nämlich in der Erfahrung, haben" (Kritik der reinen Vernunft (zweiten Auflage), Immanuel Kant, 1787).

"It is therefore at least a question requiring closer investigation, and one not to be dismissed at first glance, whether there is any such cognition independent of all experience and even of all impressions of the senses. One calls such cognitions a priori, and distinguishes them from empirical ones, which have their sources a posteriori, namely in experience" (Critique of Pure Reason (2nd Ed.) by Immanuel Kant, Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood (trans.), 1998).

(Creazione di Adamo, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, 1511)

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have always been puzzled by this one.

Katie said...

I'm wondering where you come up with these awesome words...

Katie said...

You must read some pretty interesting books.

Fiona not Bruce said...

nothing like academic german to impress the ladies ;)

Diego Sousa said...

we use it a lot here in brazil

Zombie said...

I always feel educated when i read your blog!! :D

Debra She Who Seeks said...

That crazy meme Hipster Cat strikes again! "Michelangelo? Oh, you mean Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni."

Kristina P. said...

It's been a very long time since I've seen or heard this word.

D4 said...

This sounds a bit too fancy for me to use in every day life.

Mai Yang said...

where do you get this kind of words? lol

akissfromthepast said...

^^

Wolle said...

thanks for sharing

DEZMOND said...

although it is widely used in my language as well, I must admit I've never really understood its real meaning, and it is still a bit puzzling to me :)

Bigshanks BSc said...

Great post man, very interesting and something i've never thought about!

Kristin H said...

Reminding me of my first course of philosophy at the University...

Rachel Neilson said...

This'll make me look smart :p

Bart said...

so is this one or 2 words?

Banacek said...

I know this one from studying philosophy of religion.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Oddly enough, I'm more fascinated by the word 'metaphysician' here.

Salted Plum said...

Yay German!

JayJay said...

I find this word still a trifle confusing but I know I've read it in numerous text books. Maybe it's just the weekend brain creeping in on me.

Henry said...

Well this has me thinking back to Theory of Knowledge

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