- a priori
—apriority /ay'pruy awr"i tee, -or"-/, n./ay' pruy awr"uy, -ohr"uy, ay' pree awr"ee, -ohr"ee, ah' pree awr"ee, -ohr"ee/1. from a general law to a particular instance; valid independently of observation. Cf. a posteriori (def. 1).2. existing in the mind prior to and independent of experience, as a faculty or character trait. Cf. a posteriori (def. 2).3. not based on prior study or examination; nonanalytic: an a priori judgment.[1645-55; < L: lit., from the one before. See A-4, PRIOR]
* * *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–a posteriori distinction to define his theory of knowledge.
* * *