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Encyclopedia > A priori

A priori is originally a Latin phrase meaning "from the former" or "from what comes before". However, several different uses of the term have developed in English: Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...

  • A priori (law) - adj. based on deduction or hypothesis, rather than on hard facts or knowledge
  • A priori (philosophy) - a priori is used in philosophy to refer to a type of knowledge that is independent of experience or non-empirical.
  • A priori (languages) - a priori constructed languages are those which try to categorize their vocabulary, either to express an underlying philosophical system, or to make it easier to memorize the completely new vocabulary.
  • A priori (engineering) - in engineering, synthetic a priori knowledge is the main objective of the process of analogical modelling in systems engineering.
  • A priori (math modeling) - in mathematical modeling and data mining, one might try to spot classes and clusters of data. For example, if a credit card company examines its data, it could search for patterns representing fraudulent use; with a priori knowledge of which data represent fraud it can classify different behaviour into known categories of fraud and non-fraud, but without this knowledge, it can only identify different clusters or typical patterns of data. Use of a priori knowledge is typical in supervised learning, whereas detecting clusters in data without a priori knowledge is an example of unsupervised learning.
  • A priori (mathematics) - in mathematical literature, one often says proposition A "does not a priori imply" proposition B if any such implication would require some nontrivial reasoning. In particular, the question of whether proposition A implies proposition B a priori is independent of whether proposition A implies proposition B in fact.

  Results from FactBites:
A priori - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (688 words)
Descartes considered the knowledge of the self, or cogito ergo sum, to be a priori, because he thought that one needn't refer to past experience to consider one's own existence.
John Locke, in believing that reflection is a part of experience, gave a platform by which the entire notion of the "a priori" might be abandoned.
However, it is known a priori, because one metre was defined as the length of that bar, so the bar must have been one metre long (at the time it served as the standard) - it is a tautology.
  More results at FactBites »



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