a priori

a priori

In epistemology, knowledge that is independent of all particular experiences, as opposed to a posteriori (or empirical) knowledge, which derives from experience. The terms have their origins in the medieval Scholastic debate over Aristotelian concepts (see Scholasticism). Immanuel Kant initiated their current usage, pairing the analytic-synthetic distinction with the a priori‚Äďa posteriori distinction to define his theory of knowledge.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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