One of the signs of a person who wants to appear educated is the use of fashionable and abstruse words. Thus, a person demonstrates both his vocabulary and knowledge base. Sometimes even the interlocutor is lost from the abundance of complex and unfamiliar words: “What is it all about?”. That’s just, wanting to seem smarter, you can get into a mess. After all, the exact meaning of some specific words is not known to everyone.
They are used on a whim, in a seemingly appropriate place. To prevent this from happening to you, we will tell you about one such word – a priori. Having become acquainted with its origin, we will find out its exact meaning and possibility for use.
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Where did the word a priori come from?
You will hardly be surprised if you learn that the word “a priori” is of Latin origin. There “a priori” literally means “from the previous”. And in our language, we use this word in the meaning – something that is known to everyone, which does not require proof, by default. For example, a priori there are 7 days in a week. It is difficult to argue with this, and certainly not worth proving.
A priori – true in advance, without relying on knowledge of facts, without checking, without proof (as if known in advance).
But the term itself has philosophical roots. It is believed that it arose thanks to Aristotle himself. This wise Greek often used the word “a priori” in his speeches. And the mass use of the word should be grateful to Immanuel Kant. He believed that all people a priori have their own worldview and innate knowledge.
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What is this part of speech?
It is logical to assume that we are dealing with an adverb, because it answers the question “how” – “a stone (how?) A priori sinks in water.” It is only in the modern language that variants of the word have appeared that relate to other parts of speech. It turns out that an adjective may well appear from “a priori”. For example, an a priori phenomenon is something that always appears. You can talk about a priori data or a priori probability.
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Synonyms for a priori (what can be replaced)
Terms in philosophy are often discussed and vague. So it is not difficult to find synonyms for “a priori”. In everyday speech, we often use simpler and more understandable analogues: obviously, it goes without saying, indisputably, and so it is clear, one hundred percent.
In fact, the phrase “a priori knows to everyone” and “everyone knows by itself” will have the same meaning. But you need to understand in what situation which words are better to use.
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Where is it appropriate to use the word a priori?
Although this word seems fashionable, it is clearly not the most popular. Of the 300 million spoken Russian phrases studied, a priori occurs only in 34 cases. This word is appropriate in business ethics, in negotiations, it is used in reports and scientific papers.
The word “a priori” is also used in professional speech; it can be found among scientists, lawyers and philosophers. The Latin term emphasizes a fact that does not require proof. For example, “the defendant is a priori innocent until proven otherwise by the court.”
And the use of this unusual word in everyday speech can tell the interlocutor about the depth of your vocabulary. But with “a priori” you should be more careful and use it only in appropriate cases. Otherwise, the interlocutors may not understand what you mean – then it is better to use a generally accepted simple synonym. It is also important to use the word correctly so that in an attempt to flaunt knowledge you do not goof off. The phrases “a priori” or “I will not do this a priori” are unacceptable.
It is known that our vocabulary helps to diversify speech and find a common language with different interlocutors. That is why it is still necessary to let even such strange words into your speech and use them in appropriate situations.