a priori


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Related to a priori: a posteriori

a priori

adj. known to be true, independently of the subject under debate. Economists frequently develop their theoretical models by reasoning, deductively, from certain prior assumptions to general predictions.

For example, operating on the assumption that consumers behave rationally in seeking to maximize their utility from a limited income, economists’ reasoning leads them to the prediction that consumers will tend to buy more of those products whose relative price has fallen. See ECONOMIC MAN, CONSUMER EQUILIBRIUM

References in classic literature ?
No one would have guessed a priori that this movement of a middle-aged man's body would cause fish to come out of the sea into his larder, but experience shows that it does, and the middle-aged man therefore continues to go to the City, just as the cat in the cage continues to lift the latch when it has once found it.
We should not A PRIORI have expected it, but it is undoubtedly a fact.
Laurence BonJour has suggested that this subjugation of the a priori is motivated by a general premise, namely, that rationalism is "incompatible with allegedly well-established theses [e.g., naturalism] about the nature and limitations of human beings and human intellectual processes" (1998, 153).
What Place for the A Priori offers original essays on a priori knowledge in a fine collection suitable for college-level audiences strong in philosophy.