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Word definition help, please

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Pat Hurley, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. Pat Hurley

    Pat Hurley Former Guest

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    I was listening to a religious debate on CD the other day and, in posing a question to his opponent, one of the debaters said that the others' denomination held a belief that was an "opriori-ism." Don't know how badly that is misspelled. He was suggesting that - from a philisophical perspective - the belief could not be true because there was no way to prove it false and therefore it was an "opriori-ism."

    I have never heard the word before. Query: have you ever heard a word that closely resembles the one I have attempted to spell above? How is it properly spelled and defined? Can you use it in a sentence? I've scanned the internet and the three dictionaries I have to no avail. This is driving me crazy.

    Help!
  2. Pat, I suspect the word you heard was "a priori," which is frequently used in philosophy in opposition to the term "a posteriori." Generally speaking, a priori knowledge is independent of experience, while a posteriori knowledge is dependent on experience. The terms are also used in Aristotelian logic. In that sense, the term "a priori" means reasoning that proceeds from cause to effect," while "a posteriori" means the opposite, i.e., reasoning that proceeds from effect to cause. For example, if you see an atomic bomb and reason that if it is detonated it will destroy a city, you are reasoning a priori, from cause to effect. Conversely, if you see a destroyed city, and reason an atomic weapon likely caused that event, you are reasoning a posteriori.

    Hope this helps at least a little. :D
  3. Pat Hurley

    Pat Hurley Former Guest

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    Thanks Pistol. I had not considered that what the debater said was "a priori" probably because his pronounication and voice inflexion on the syllables was most unusual, but I now think that you must be right. I believed it was a word I had not encountered before and proceeded on that premise.

    Thanks for your help!
  4. Bruce FLinch

    Bruce FLinch New Member

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    I can help you w/ the word, Bulletin.

    Before I shoots my gun, I put a Bulletin! :D

    Hope this has been helpful. :D
  5. Pat Hurley

    Pat Hurley Former Guest

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    Thanks Bruce. That was a beauty!
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