Reason and Experience

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What is knowledge?

- What you know for certain. eg: 2+2=4, NOT "A baby knows how to suckle".

Justifying knowledge:

- A priori - Prior to experience

- A posteriori - Post experience

- Analytic - The truth is in the word, eg: A bachelor is an unmarried man is analytic because bachelor means unmarried man

- Synthetic - You need to check it to know it to be true, eg: my cat is white is synthetic because you need  to check that my cat is white to know it.

A priori is always associated with analytic propositions, eg: A bachelor is an unmarried man is a priori analytic because you don't need to have experience of a bachelor to know that it is an unmarried man.

A posteriori is always associated with synthetic propositions, eg: My cat is white is a posteriori synthetic because the knowledge of my cat being white, or even the knowledge that I have a cat must come after (post) experience for you to know it to be true.

However, there has been an argument submitted by the rationalists that there is a priori synthetic. They argue that if you were locked in a cupboard with no experience of the world, and you (through reasoning) figured out that murdering another human being was wrong, that would be a priori synthetic.



- All knowledge derives from experience.

- They reject innate ideas (knowledge from birth)

- They believe we are born as


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