Monday, January 21, 2013

A Posteriori (a postiori)

From subsequent understanding.  A postiori knowledge arises from observation, measurement, comparison, or testing of the evidence.  It is what is known after investigation. 

Thus, a statement of truth a postiori is roughly equivalent to a statement of what one observes.  It is the opposite of a priori, or what is known by reason alone without the use of observation. 

Statements a postirori are vulnerable to claims that the observations that underly them are faulty or that the reasoning leading from the thing observed to the statement derived is faulty. 

A posteriori is the accepted modern spelling, although the concept is sometimes written a postiori.

Caveat Lector - "Let the Reader Beware"

Tucker Griffin Barnes
Charlottesville, VA (434-973-7474)

PS - Words are the only tools lawyers have.  Just as a skilled carpenter wouldn't drive a nail with a screwdriver, skilled legal writers don't use fortuitous when they mean fortunate, or infer when they mean imply.

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