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A priori   Listen
A priori  phr.  
(Logic) Characterizing that kind of reasoning which deduces consequences from definitions formed, or principles assumed, or which infers effects from causes previously known; deductive or deductively. The reverse of a posteriori.
(Philos.) Applied to knowledge and conceptions assumed, or presupposed, as prior to experience, in order to make experience rational or possible. "A priori, that is, form these necessities of the mind or forms of thinking, which, though first revealed to us by experience, must yet have preexisted in order to make experience possible."

Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48

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"A priori" Quotes from Famous Books

... have put this knowledge in permanent written form; (3) wandering scholars would have known many and strange things about the peoples they met, but they too were not, as a class, writers; (4) there is every reason a priori for believing that the [.g]ob[a]r numerals would have been known to merchants, and probably to some of the wandering scholars, long before the Arabs conquered northern Africa; (5) the wonder is not that the Hindu-Arabic numerals were known about 1000 A.D., and that they were the subject ...
— The Hindu-Arabic Numerals • David Eugene Smith

... 502, Owen stated it to be questionable whether the discoverer of the true theory of the segmental constitution of the skull (i.e. himself) was excited to his labours, or "in any way influenced by the a priori guesses of Oken." On this Huxley writes, page 288: "But if he himself had not been in any way influenced by Oken, and if the 'Programm' [of Oken] is a mere mass of 'a priori guesses,' how comes it that only three years ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... then say what it means to society that such a power must be, in every new issue that arises, on the side of reaction and falsehood. "So it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be," runs the church's formula; and this per se and a priori, of necessity and in the nature of ...
— The Profits of Religion, Fifth Edition • Upton Sinclair

... The a priori ideas of space and time do not control his perceptions; for he absolutely creates and annihilates them at the same time. Physical existence has its cumulative intensity from infancy to prime, and its diminishing energy from dotage to death; ...
— Death—and After? • Annie Besant

... incorrectness of this view is illustrated by the comparison of the fauna of South Africa and South America, and the vegetation of the two continents. The interest of the discussion is that it shows clearly our a priori ignorance of the conditions of life suitable ...
— The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I • Francis Darwin

... been taken to the character of the 'message' as judged from a philosophic point of view. It is the expression or exposition of a vivid a priori religious faith confirmed by positive experience; and it reflects as such a double order of thought, in which totally opposite mental activities are often forced into co-operation with each other. Mr. Sharp says, this time quoting from Mr. Mortimer ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... of any value for practice can be arrived at by direct experience. All true political science is, in one sense of the phrase, a priori, being deduced from the tendencies of things, tendencies known either through our general experience of human nature, or as the result of an analysis of the course of history, considered as a progressive evolution.—MILL, Inaugural ...
— Lectures on Modern history • Baron John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton

... modern writer says, "We should not now, h priori, expect that the Incarnate Logos would be born without a human father," we may reply that we are hardly in a position to expect anything a priori in the matter; but when once we have learnt that this Incarnate Logos was to be the Second Head of the human race—the sinless Son of Man—and that in Him humanity was to make a fresh start, it is indeed difficult to see how this could be without ...
— The Virgin-Birth of Our Lord - A paper read (in substance) before the confraternity of the Holy - Trinity at Cambridge • B. W. Randolph

... principles produced by the fermentation of which we have just spoken, when the grapes are immersed in carbonic acid gas, by such a comparison as that which we suggest we should be able to form a priori judgment on the merits of the new system, which had not been carefully studied, although already widely adopted, of milled, cylindrical crushers, ...
— The Harvard Classics Volume 38 - Scientific Papers (Physiology, Medicine, Surgery, Geology) • Various

... itself;—we could not have understood in what manner it might be made to further the objects of humanity, either temporal or eternal. It cannot be denied that phrenology and, in great measure, all metaphysicianism have been concocted a priori. The intellectual or logical man, rather than the understanding or observant man, set himself to imagine designs—to dictate purposes to God. Having thus fathomed, to his satisfaction, the intentions of Jehovah, out of these intentions he built his innumerable systems of mind. In the matter ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... involved, I have never been able to see any reason, a priori, why, if we have a uniform for our military service and another for our naval service, we may not have one for our diplomatic service. It has, indeed, been asserted by sundry orators dear to the galleries, as well as by various "funny-column" men, that such a uniform is that of a lackey; ...
— Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White Volume II • Andrew Dickson White

... distinct species still existing there. It must, however, be admitted that the comparison between the wild and domesticated animal has been made but in few cases with sufficient exactness. Before entering on details, it will be well to show that there is no a priori difficulty in the belief that several canine species have been domesticated; for there is much difficulty in this respect with some other domestic quadrupeds and birds. Members of the dog family inhabit nearly the whole world; and ...
— The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Vol. I. • Charles Darwin

... direct experience and perception. So far as experience is concerned, it is empty; it represents a vague sentimental aspiration rather than anything which can be intelligently grasped and stated. This vagueness must be compensated for by some a priori formula. Froebel made the connection between the concrete facts of experience and the transcendental ideal of development by regarding the former as symbols of the latter. To regard known things as symbols, according to some arbitrary a priori ...
— Democracy and Education • John Dewey

... honour of patronising him, as a Representative Man; but their real text-book, you will find, is Proclus. That hapless philosophaster's a priori method, even his very verbiage, is dear to their souls; for they copy it through wet and dry, through sense and nonsense. But as for Plato-when I find them using Plato's weapons, I shall believe in their understanding and love ...
— Phaethon • Charles Kingsley

... himself that this deduction was preposterous. He proved that the air must accompany the earth, just as his coat remains round him, notwithstanding the fact that he is walking down the street. In this way he was able to show that all a priori objections to the earth's movements were absurd, and therefore he was able to compare together the plausibilities of the two rival schemes for ...
— Great Astronomers • R. S. Ball

... apart, and also that they could heal the sick and work that which would now appear to us miraculous. All this was considered facts but two or three centuries back, as no reader of old books (mostly Persian) is unacquainted with, or will disbelieve a priori unless his mind is irretrievably biassed by modern secular education. The story about the Mobed and Emperor Akbar and of the latter's conversion, is a well-known historical fact, ...
— Five Years Of Theosophy • Various

... Pneumatologie,"—agenuine Sternian pretense, reminding one of the "Tristrapaedia." Whimsicality of manner distinctly reminiscent of Sterne is found in his mock-scientific catalogues or lists of things, as in Chapter III, "Deduktionen, Dissertationen, Argumentationen a priori und a posteriori," and so on; plainly adapted from Sterne's idiosyncrasy of form is the advertisement which in large red letters occupies the middle of a page in the twenty-first chapter of the second volume, which reads as follows: "Dienst-freundliche Anzeige. ...
— Laurence Sterne in Germany • Harvey Waterman Thayer

Words linked to "A priori" :   analytical, theoretic, analytic, a posteriori

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