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A posteriori

Classic Language

Meaning of A posteriori
The English meaning and translation of this Latin phrase used by Rene Descartes in his Principles of Philosophy is as follows:

 "From the latter"

Definition of A posteriori
The meaning and definition of this famous Latin expression is a  relates to an afterthought or with hindsight. The 'a posteriori' is a source of knowledge based on observation or experimentation (i.e., empirical knowledge). Literally meaning 'from the latter' (i.e. from effect to cause). The reverse of this phrase is 'a priori'.

A posteriori

 
 

Use of "A posteriori"
This term is commonly used in Philosophy / Logic and in Mathematics & Statistics.
In philosophy it involves inductive reasoning from particular facts or logic requiring evidence for its support or validation and is open to revision. In Mathematics & Statistics it relates to 'posterior probability' meaning the probability assigned to some parameter or calculated from a prior probability.

The term infers causes from effects. This is the reverse of a 'priori reasoning' which is presupposed, independent of experience. Knowledge that is known to be true based on reason alone. A posteriori knowledge is more likely to be false, since it relies on an interpretation or understanding of an experience.

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Examples of 'A posterior' knowledge
The terms "a priori" and "a posteriori" are used among philosophers to refer to two different types of knowledge. A posteriori knowledge is wisdom that we can have only after we have certain experiences. Whereas 'A priori' knowledge is wisdom that we can have "prior to experience".

A posteriori fact is concluded through a posteriori reasoning that involves facts observed in the world. For example, the fact that Anne has blonde hair would be an a posteriori truth, based on a posteriori reasoning. However, like all a posteriori knowledge, this statement could be false. With hindsight you could learn that her hair was dyed.

 

A posteriori

Definition of famous Latin expression and phrase
Means "From the latter"
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