The Latin phrase a priori It is used in our language To refer to what is previous or previous to something . Usually, the expression is used to name the knowledge that is developed before obtaining an empirical confirmation .
A distinction is often made between a priori knowledge and knowledge a posteriori . A priori knowledge is linked to what universal , while a posteriori knowledge is related to something particular, which depends on a check empirical .
For the philosophy , an a priori judgment is one whose result can be maintained beyond the empirical, since its validity does not come from experience.
An a priori trial, in everyday language, takes place before the theme in question. It could be said that a priori reasoning is carried out at a general level, without going into detail and without pretending to be exhaustive or conclusive.
A researcher can approach the scene of a crime , take a look around and comment that, a priori It would seem that the victim was killed by a blow to the head, made with a wooden stick that was found in the place. These first statements will then have to be confirmed empirically, with scientific evidence that is irrefutable.
A judge in charge of administering Justice , you cannot base your failures on a priori knowledge. Its function is to analyze what has been investigated, compare the evidence and then take charge of judging the facts afterwards, after objectively examining everything that happened.
He synthetic judgment , in the field of philosophy, is one in which the predicate in the notion of subject, that is, it is not able to add anything to the subject's content from a semantic point of view. It is a kind of informative and extensive judgment; In other words, it makes it possible to expand the knowledge that human beings have of the world.
A priori synthetic judgment is one that has a truth that can be maintained beyond the experience personal, which leads us to conclude that it is not clear from it, but has a universal and necessary character. Some clear examples are found in the following statements: "Every square is formed by four sides", "It is not possible to return from death", "Human beings cannot fly like birds".
On the other hand is the analytical judgment , which does allow to find the concept of predicate in the subject. According to the Scottish philosopher and sociologist David Hume, who lived in the 18th century and made invaluable contributions to the Scottish Enlightenment and the philosophy of the West, a distinction must be made between the a priori analytical judgment and the synthetic a posteriori in that the first it relates ideas while the last one relies on the experience to reach a true indeed .
In the following examples it is possible to appreciate the difference between an analytical a priori and a synthetic one a posteriori, according to Hume's assessment:
* "Planet Earth is greater than each of its continents" it is analytical a priori since it does not rely on experience, but it constitutes a necessary and universal truth;
* "90% of the inhabitants of this city have blond hair", on the other hand, it is synthetic a posteriori, since part of the impression and the experience. In addition, it does not have to be strictly universal or necessary.
Unlike Hume, Kant did contemplate the possibility of issuing judgment a priori synthetics, and for this it relied on the following statement: "If we take two points, the shortest distance between them is a straight line". While Hume would have cataloged it from a priori analytical judgment, Kant objected by ensuring that the predicate was not contained in the subject (so it is synthetic) and that it is not necessary to measure the distances to know that it is a truth (not to posteriori).