The Philosopher’s Lexicon: A Priori and A Posteriori Knowledge

Stories & Soliloquies

Welcome back to The Philosopher’s Lexicon. My primary goal in this series is to explore common philosophical vocabulary, hopefully transforming these words from useless jargon into meaningful terms. My secondary goal is to highlight how contentious some of these terms can be – especially those which seem obvious. These definitions will not be comprehensive by any means, so please feel free to add your own understanding of each term as we go. 

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This week’s entry into the lexicon will be the last of a string of distinctions. I began some weeks ago by discussing the de dicto/de re distinction, then moved onto the distinction between ontology and epistemology, after which I tackled logical and causal possibly, and most recently I covered the difference between analytic and synthetic reasoning. To these, I add the distinction between a priori and a posteriori knowledge.

In its weaker sense, a…

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