Analytic philosophy primarily tries to solve problems a priori. Science can be considered to be synthetic a posteriori, based of some a priori theoretical framework. But would any conclusions that you come to (rigorously and objectively) through a posteriori analysis be considered scientific?

  • Can you give a citation for the claim "analytic philosophy primarily tries to solve problems a priori"? I'm not sure I buy that. Maybe it's because I'm a modern philosophy scholar -- not a contemporary analytic.
    – virmaior
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 6:29

1 Answer 1


The term "analytic philosophy" comes from the logical empiricists who thought (with Wittgenstein) that philosophy is pure a-priori language analysis whereas science is about confronting claims to the world a-posteriori.

Following this framework there is no such thing as "a posteriori analysis" because you need to be clear about what you mean before testing a claim empirically, so the analysis part has to be done a priori. Furthermore you don't need any empirical data to do language analysis and clarify what you mean.

Anyway, today this clearcut distinction between science and philosophy, or between a priori analysis and a posteriori synthesis, is often rejected (following Quine's critics, notably). Things are more complex.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .