A posteriori, A priori
A posteriori, A priori. The two counter forms of reasoning, resulting,
the one from the action of things and events, i. e. from experience; the
other from that which is already in the mind.
We reason or judge à
posteriori when we ascend from observation of particulars to a general
law; we reason or judge à priori when we conclude on particulars from a
previous principle already in our minds, whether there as the result of
previous experience, or as a necessary form of thought. It is to the
latter class of à priori judgments that the term since Kant has been generally applied. When we
pass, however, from single judgments to discourse, the title belongs to
all deductive, and that of à posteriori to all inductive, reasoning.