If I say that 50% of birds are black, and so I then say that I have a 50% chance of choosing a black bird if I pick a bird at random, is this an a priori or a posteriori proposition? Since given the premise it's true, but the premise itself requires empirical evidence.

  • Is there a text you are reading related to this question that would help focus it. Welcome to Philosophy! – Frank Hubeny Jan 26 at 17:29
  • So, the proposition is in the form "A & B"? "Half of birds are black & I have 50% chance to pick a black bird"? – rus9384 Jan 26 at 17:44
  • This proposition is analytic, it is essentially a tautology, so yes, it is a priori by the traditional terminology. It makes no difference whether it speaks of birds, cards in a deck, balls in a box, or even and odd numbers. – Conifold Jan 27 at 2:29

"A priori” and “a posteriori” refer primarily to how, or on what basis, a proposition might be known. In general terms, a proposition is knowable a priori if it is knowable independently of experience, while a proposition knowable a posteriori is knowable on the basis of experience. The distinction between a priori and a posteriori knowledge thus broadly corresponds to the distinction between empirical and nonempirical knowledge.

Thus, "a proposition that require empirical evidence" is not a priori.

  • Well, a proposition "If half of birds are black, I have 50% chance that a bird I pick is black" could be considered a priori. But as the one who believes everything is learned including mathematics, I do not consider that. Yet, as this question is asked, I guess, the asker believes in a priori statements. – rus9384 Jan 26 at 17:41

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