Math is an excellent example of this. There is neither a place, time, nor scenario in which this is not true. There is also knowledge that is considered empirical in nature. This type of knowledge is derived from your five senses, subject to variance, and thus not universally true– just true to you. The current weather outside is an example of empirical knowledge. One determines the weather by utilizing their senses, thus rendering it empirical.
This distinction, while seemingly insignificant, is in fact the foundation of pure reason. The fun in this begins where the fun in this ends– so to speak.
Let’s take science for instance: is the understanding of mass and its relationship with gravity considered a priori (universal fact) or empirical? The answer is empirical. Science utilizes experiments which require observation for their discretion. This fact, proves them empirical and not universally factual, but rather relatively contrived.
To take a step deeper into this ice cold cognitive theory of knowledge: (Shout out to Immanuel Kant) Is the study/knowledge of the different types of knowledge considered empirical, or a priori? If one understands that observation alone justifies information as being empirical, and that cognition is absent of characteristics subject to human senses or observation, then which is it?
Kant states the answer as: synthetic a priori knowledge. Rather than subject you to his rabbit hole of a definition, I’ll just subject you to mine.
Studying knowledge itself has the purpose of extending the knowledge of the subject under scrutiny, therefore requires acute observation of observable knowledge and its self defining counterparts. The idea is intrinsic to itself in that a priori knowledge makes up pure truths, empirical knowledge manifests cognitively, and the study of both is useful in examining any such idea.
Why would Kant or myself wish to share this?
Because if you ever truly want to learn something, the only way to honestly do so is to learn about what type of knowledge it is you’re seeking, then maybe…. just maybe you can learn everything there is to know about it.
Andrew T. Ramirez