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手植记丨花椒:中国味的脊梁

手植记丨花椒:中国味的脊梁

    在斯德哥尔摩要了一碗牛肉汤面。奶白色的汤头,整齐的苗条,和着嫩黄的白菜和火红的牛肉片,都笼罩在喷香的热气中。它们在暖暖的灯光下闪耀着诱人的色彩,不觉让人食指大动。等等!那些白菜上怎么会有黑色的颗粒。一口尝下去,果不其然,那些就是胡椒,至于汤头,虽有鲜味,但是略显空洞。这个中餐馆的越南大厨显然没有领会中餐香料的奥秘,因为他们不会也不曾使用一种中国调料——花椒。: K' g8 o2 G+ ~& j# r
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  如果要选出东西方餐桌的典型调味料,那非胡椒和花椒莫属。虽然中国餐桌上,花椒调味罐出现的频率不像西餐馆中的胡椒瓶,但是花椒的味道已经渗透到中餐的每一根神经之中。从五香脱骨扒鸡到椒盐虾,从红焖羊肉到侉炖大鲤鱼,都少不了花椒的味道,更不用提那些靠花椒成味的夫妻肺片,椒麻鸡,麻婆豆腐,水煮鱼等一众川菜了。: o9 }9 m5 M3 D8 o  E
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  在川菜盛行的今天,花椒进一步巩固了在中餐调料界的霸主地位。不光是原有的五香味和麻辣味被发扬光大。各种新的,堪称麻味加强版的麻椒,颇具清新气味的藤椒,以及出场频率越来越高的青花椒,让我们的舌尖进入新的狂欢时代。我不止一次被问到这样的问题,这些花椒为什么会有不同的味道,它们的真身究竟是谁?但是,最吸引我的问题就是,第一个吃花椒的人,为啥会去摆弄这种让舌头震颤的的植物呢?: r. ~6 a3 X8 k: i' g: p5 X2 m
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  从神的食物开始
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  虽然如今大家对麻辣香锅都分外痴迷,但是花椒一开始并没有立马摆上人的餐桌,而是在敬神的供桌上。想想也是,这种会让舌尖麻木的植物,肯定会让人提高警惕,就人体的感官原则来说,不正常的刺激都意味着危险。# q# R' [( K) E/ [6 @( N$ L

$ Q$ P( S$ S- I, N2 |5 c5 @  还好,花椒不仅有麻味,还有香味。而香味在我国古代是颇受重视的特征,因为古人认为香气是给神灵最好的礼物。而花椒则同兰花、桂皮一样被视为重要的香料。在《楚辞》中,就有这样的记载,“椒,香物,所以降神”。正是在这种认识的推动下,从商周时期开始,花椒就出现在了祭祀仪式之上,这个传统一直延续到了隋唐时期。! U4 M) W1 \& {% v8 V: V% R* E
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  至于贡品的形式,不仅有纯的花椒粒,还有升级版的形式——花椒粒泡到酒中——制成椒酒。后来,大概是有人为了在神的贡品上沾点光,或者是为了祈求好运,开始尝试喝这些神的饮品。于是花椒总算开始跟人的肠胃打交道了。不过,直到这个时候,花椒仍然是一种象征物。而喝椒酒,更像是祭祀仪式的补充部分。, h+ ^2 K4 U5 x& g3 |
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  既然花椒是神的食物,那在墓葬中更是必不可少了。在商周和秦汉时期的古墓中,都发掘出土了大量的花椒实物。虽然有学者认为,这些花椒可能是出于防腐目的添加的,但是就发现的数量而言远远达不到驱虫避菌的效果。相对而言,此处的花椒更像是生人对死者的美好祝愿。当然了,此时的花椒还是一种身份地位的象征,因为在秦汉时期还没有人工栽培花椒。所有的花椒都是从野外采集的,这需要消耗大量的人力,事实上,所有的花椒陪葬物都是在富人的墓葬中发现的,平民是无法触及这种昂贵的香料的。
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  椒宫中的辛香味/ R% M, L6 _. t) _: p
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  在接触花椒的过程中,人们不仅让它有了敬神之责,还赋予了它其他的用途。宫廷历史剧中,我们经常听到皇后住的地方叫“椒房殿”或者叫“椒宫”,这些地方还真与花椒有关。据说,汉成帝迎娶赵飞燕之后,这位可以在手掌上跳舞的美女久久不能怀孕。于是,汉成帝命令工匠把赵飞燕寝宫的墙壁上都涂满了花椒,于是赵飞燕顺利产子,而她居住的宫殿就被称为椒宫。据说这样做的依据是,花椒的果实繁盛,用这种多子的植物来装点宫殿,也算是讨个好口彩吧。至于,花椒的气味会不会影响生育,就当是个美好的愿景吧。至少在魏晋之后,这种习俗连同“祭祀,椒酒”一并被放弃了,想来,杨贵妃的椒房殿里应该是没有花椒墙的。# |. r+ _# @# k& h& M# F- T
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  我忽然在想,当年赵飞燕在花椒满墙的宫殿里会不会觉得憋闷,亦或是为了怀上龙种,一切都忍了。因为,花椒的香味似乎并不适合出现在菜肴之外的地方。有一年,我去甘肃南部的白龙江流域调查兰科植物的分布,恰逢当地花椒丰收。在一个月的时间里,只要进了公交车的门,浓郁的花椒味就会扑面而来。那是一股浓烈,有冲击力,却又似香非香的气味。每每这时,我就会想到,那些住在椒房殿里的皇后们得有多大的忍耐力呢。
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  不过,我很快发现确实有人喜欢花椒的气味。一日,我们去踏青,儿子兴冲冲地举着一个叶子给我看,“爸爸,这个叶子有橘子味”。可是那分明就是一簇花椒叶。花椒的叶子里面多少带点柑橘味,其实这也不奇怪。因为花椒同柑橘一样,也是芸香科的植物。摘下一片花椒叶,对着光看看,就会发现叶片上有很多半透明的圆点——油点。这是包括柑橘在内的所有芸香科植物的共同的特征。油点里储存了大量的挥发油(柠檬烯,芳樟醇等等),柑橘叶片和花椒叶片的浓烈气味也就由此而来。于是,我们采了很多有“橘子味”的花椒叶,带回家。. W& {& K" O+ a) D! c" j$ W

' J( S5 ~0 a1 P( A7 s/ _  不过,并不是所有的花椒叶片都是有柑橘味道的,我们平常说的花椒实际上是芸香科花椒属植物的大集合。这里面至少包括了花椒、竹叶花椒、川陕花椒、青花椒和野花椒等5个种。这五个种的气味大不一样。就拿花椒和青花椒来说,花椒中富含柠檬烯和芳樟醇所有更有柑橘的气息,而青花椒中占主导地位的则是爱草脑,所以它们的味道更加清冽,偏向于胡椒。当然,我们关注花椒的更多的是在于它的麻。; d2 b4 u6 R! f% X/ o

1 u% ^, \/ {0 s; |9 p  不一样的青花椒
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! ?  s1 C  S9 ?9 L# F" f  近来,市面上多了一些青色的花椒,其特有的麻味极具穿透力,不仅与鲈鱼和谐相伴,还与麻辣花生携手共舞,最绝的当属麻辣海瓜子。每个小小的海瓜子中都藏满了青花椒的麻,于是,每次吮吸麻辣海瓜子之后,感受到那种舌尖的震颤,怎一个爽字了得。于是,这些青色的花椒有了特别的名称——麻椒。- v+ q- o7 W( o$ }5 g" e5 d. o# ]

+ e4 V( B" P; Y) o: J( b/ h% v- L  有消息说,这些青色花椒之所以麻,是因为在它们完全成熟的时候采摘下来了。但是事实并非如此,目前市场上青色花椒有两个主要来源。3 H  L' h) R0 {. ]; J' N) f( M

( V3 [  O& Z0 w3 I& Y  其一是青花椒种的果实,它们的特点是外表比较光滑,油泡比较少,不像花椒的表面那么粗糙。刚刚成熟时,它们的果实还带有红色,但是经过储藏之后,颜色会变成深绿色或者近似黑色。
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  另一种则是藤椒,这是竹叶花椒的一个变种。这类花椒果实形态与普通花椒近似,它们成熟时的颜色依然是绿色,当采摘储存之后,这些花椒的颜色会渐渐泛黄。通过这样颜色的变化,我们可以分辨出两种不同的青花椒。但是在实际的烹饪过程中,除了川菜师傅,很少有人去区分两者味道的差别,因为它们都有一样的麻。0 ~$ h  }+ r2 `3 z3 g

0 H5 ~! M  E  F) A$ y  人类能适应花椒的麻味,算得上是一件奇异的事情。因为,这种味道甚至算不上一种基本味,而是一种轻微的痛觉。引发这种痛觉的物质就是,花椒中特别的酰胺类物质——山椒素,其中又以α-山椒素的麻味最强。之所以会给我们带来麻味,是因为山椒素可以与我们舌头上负责感觉的T RPV1受体结合,让舌头感觉到刺麻感。有意思的是,辣椒素在我们舌头上也是通过与T RPV1受体结合,发挥作用的。如此看来,麻辣一家相得益彰倒是有几分道理。! }$ g; h0 C7 M# D% L1 p; ^/ z* g

5 R4 @/ v# A6 ?: C0 A2 L  麻能带来健康吗?& o- t- ^* d+ `8 c1 J4 |

! z+ h  z5 v/ ^1 U9 G1 E& f7 y  在养生理念盛行的今天,我们总期望饮食能为我们带来额外的健康加分,于是各种传统饮食被贴上了莫名的保健标签,花椒作为八大调味料之一,自然也不会被放过。遗憾的是,除了刺激我们的舌头,花椒中的成分并没有太多的神奇功效。
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; a; \9 M9 f- K5 D$ n) }  如果非要跟健康扯在一起,那还得说α-山椒素。就目前的结果来看,这种物质对蛔虫有很好的毒杀作用。只是,在卫生条件逐步发达的今天,蛔虫感染率已经越来越低(我儿子吃下驱虫药之后,兴冲冲地在马桶里找虫子,也以失望告终)。这种化学武器还有没有用武之地,都值得考虑了。至少,我们已经用不着嚼着花椒粒驱虫了。
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  另外,有实验说,花椒可以在粮仓中抑制曲霉和青霉的生长,这看起来倒像是个不错的用途。回想起来,母亲确实在米箱里面放过花椒。可如今,这种方法似乎也落伍了,一来商品流通迅速,那种粮食堆满一屋子的阵势已不多见;二是,米粒吸收的花椒味着实会影响米饭的风味,这样的存粮技术不要也罢。
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  不管怎么说,花椒带来的辛香味,确实可以让我们多吃两碗饭,这也算得上花椒的功效一件吧。9 v' F7 U0 T  r3 w$ T' m

& L* o, T; t* y4 H) i+ A  ^( q  牙膏里的花椒
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  虽然,花椒和花椒素在效用比拼中得分甚少,但是,花椒的兄弟——两面针却在此方面表现突出。两面针有个小名叫蔓椒,同花椒一样,也是芸香科花椒属的植物。其特征就是叶片两面的叶脉上都长着尖刺,两面针也因此得名。至于它们的花朵,则一如花椒属的其他同伴那样,微小,低调。5 N8 J$ D2 `* m; P5 c
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  大概在20多年前,靠着同名牙膏,这种植物走进了我们的视野。实际上,在《神农本草经》就记载了两面针的镇痛功效。至于治疗牙痛的记载则最早出现在《岭南采药录》中,“患牙痛,煎水含漱”。
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& [7 j* M, u4 V  通过化学分析,我们已经能比较清晰地认识两面针的有效成分。比如,其中的香叶木苷有抗炎作用,对于牙龈的消肿不无裨益。另外,两面针中的生物碱有镇静作用,对于缓解疼痛也是有益的。但是,这并不意味着,我们可以通过嚼两面针来获得好处,相反,随意吃这种植物会危害我们的健康。
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% M/ B+ [/ J% N) a* t. V) L* o  两面针中的毒性——氯化两面针碱和氧化两面针碱等生物碱,可导致外周神经系统和中枢神经系统的损害。曾将有,口服两面针汤药导致头昏、眼花、呕吐等中毒症状的报道。当服药量过大时,甚至会损伤呼吸中枢,引发昏迷抽搐。所以,还是放弃上山采药、熬汤进补的想法吧。; c! c7 N/ H! ?& r! _4 P* d

3 h0 x0 u( j% R  F- r  在川菜盛行的今天,花椒的香味和麻味已经弥散在了神州大地。这大概是当初主持敬神仪式的祭司所不曾想到的。把花椒弄上餐桌,堪称中餐大冒险中最成功的案例之一。虽然,花椒并没有带来特别的营养,但是大家依旧可以沉浸在它的香与麻之中。所谓一方水土养一方人,大概就是这个道理。
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) O* m* `7 l* ~7 S* P/ N! {$ M4 I  如何识别劣质麻椒?
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  第一招,水泡,正常花椒浸出的水是浅褐色的,染色花椒的水是红的;第二招,手捏,优质花椒易碎,但是劣质花椒很强韧;第三招,嘴尝,优质花椒的麻味很浓,但是劣质花椒的味道很淡。
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' H9 |' K7 G1 g6 O6 c+ a$ _( I: L  花椒也是现磨的好% R; Q" K5 Q, w" ]3 E: {
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  因为花椒中酰胺会逐渐降解,所以它们的味道会越来越淡。磨成面的花椒中,酰胺降解尤其明显。所以,购买花椒面时不要贪多。如果有条件的话,现磨现用是最好的。
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6 u9 q, G+ P: `+ G  我们快乐&精神食粮: b, o# f0 G9 o' T% C
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  为生活寻找原生态食材

AN INTRODUCTION TO( A9 T$ ~9 B! r9 r9 D0 G- A3 A
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY1 ]! F+ n$ _+ q7 g9 K
by
& ?( i: o1 d0 vA.R.M.MURRAY, M.A., PH.D.
0 y) N4 @9 I& ^6 yExtension Lecturer in Social Philosophy
) Q4 ?1 ^5 v* u4 Kin the University of London
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" ]: ?: v) W9 V3 p. `CONTENTS
# n! V1 f, Y. j' [PAGE
" e5 Z% \( [9 hPREFACE vi
# F8 H0 }' e+ OI THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 1
' n4 g6 p/ J) H+ K$ fII THE POLITICAL THEORIES OF THE SOPHISTS 178 w+ y$ {' }8 Q% s+ F
III PLATO'S THEORY OF THE IDEAL STATE 24
9 h; R: y4 G; k. x; Y% V4 O0 CIV ARISTOTLE'S THEORY OF THE BEST POSSIBLE STATE 37
9 q7 N, r  ~9 {# OV POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY BETWEEN ARISTOTLE AND
' L% B/ q3 M3 q4 @MACHIAVELLI 47: x% g2 L* I# k5 F# _
VI MACHIAVELLI ON THE SCIENCE OF GOVERNMENT 54
- x( a: I% X7 J7 j' N4 ^VII HOBBES'S THEORY OF THE RATIONAL STATE 61( r7 `6 z2 Z! Q: [
VIII LOCKE'S THEORY OF THE MORAL STATE 736 U: L# m& ]7 g" I3 _# W. B6 ^
IX ROUSSEAU'S THEORY OF THE GENERAL WILL 82
+ Z6 V! ^$ z. g' @6 r5 u; g& BX HUME AND BURKE ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF- _/ P; p1 c8 N* j
CONSERVATISM 92
- K# k+ k$ w* ]) }* u' rXI HEGEL'S IDEALIST THEORY OF THE STATE 100- u7 T; p. s  q: T6 L
XII THE UTILITARIAN THEORIES OF BENTHAM AND MILL 109
- ?/ K" K# r2 N' y: X" \" zXIII MARXISM, COMMUNISM AND SOCIALISM 123
3 v1 ?& M* [3 G, T$ Z# q( CXIV POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICS 140. a8 `2 @3 @7 }, u
XV THE JUSTIFICATION OF GOVERNMENT 151
; y! V/ D% S( l/ AINDEX 161
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CHAPTER I' C9 s8 k1 ^7 ~
The Nature and Scope of Political Philosophy
+ B3 \2 M9 L6 D0 A' h0 TUntil the beginning of the present century philosophy was generally regarded as a source* R6 ~. I2 s" q8 C# V1 U( n$ D
of knowledge which transcended, both in scope and certainty, the discoveries of natural$ p3 ]* B8 A" d: Z6 p
science. Science, it was agreed, marked an advance on the uncritical and often unrelated
3 |" p: l8 G4 B2 D  ibeliefs of ordinary life, yet it was itself based on the observations of the senses and consisted/ I3 [5 {& l' \) u
of the uncertain generalizations based upon them; whereas philosophy was assumed
5 n2 Y1 C2 S# @3 G# Eto answer questions about such subjects as the existence of God, the nature of knowledge,
  Y+ b% ^3 l, Dand the authority of the moral law upon which sense-experience, from its very nature, could
, k' J6 Z: b0 ~1 |  i$ @% ^/ P, ]& S- ]throw no light. On such subjects, it was believed, reason was alone competent to pronounce
: Y' l, s4 p+ ~% O9 S6 q) N$ cand, when it did so, its conclusions were characterized by a logical and universal certainty
9 J2 t. G; C% ~1 y* |/ Dwhich the generalizations of natural science could never claim.
9 G# w- u. m* F! j( j- f: M  aThat philosophical knowledge is certain and indubitable is a claim which, in a broad* a' @/ u6 f) M. S
sense, all philosophers have made, or at least implied; and if a short and simple definition
8 m" @0 G, l2 b. }of philosophy were sought the title of the late Professor Dewey 冯 GirTord Lectures—The
9 j5 ]* X  D1 a- V% dQuest for Certainty'—might serve as a starting point at least For all philosophers have
# G5 a) S: t7 u+ t/ `claimed, or at least implied, that philosophical knowledge not only is, but must be, true.
5 ]+ Y0 P# L" e* J& m2 `& oBut this general agreement has not prevented fundamental differences of opinion regarding
* |" Y# }6 t+ M7 wthe nature and scope of such knowledge; and since these differences are reflected in the1 _& p/ C* A7 N2 f
application of philosophy to the problems of political theory it is important to be aware,
! }% T9 r& a7 P# _9 v) Ahowever generally, of their nature.: \- P9 H1 s( H4 V: x8 ~
The different conceptions of philosophy ultimately depend upon different conceptions. Y3 _2 `: ^9 }+ r) S9 Z
of the nature of indubitable knowledge. The propositions of mathematics are usually cited
% L9 h8 h" }7 a% F* eas typical illustrations of such knowledge. For example, the proposition "Two plus two
, t. F3 t1 X; t4 \! xequals four1 is said to be necessarily and universally true on the ground that, once we have
8 Y! i$ d4 ]) y) Rgrasped its meaning, we recognize that it must be necessarily and universally true, and2 C. X" J8 d  C; V( h
because further instances of its truth do not increase our certainty that it must always be( }' [5 D2 ^( E3 j/ k$ D
true. Its falsity, in other words, is inconceivable. On the other hand, there are numerous. J  ^3 |4 ^& V
propositions of which the falsity is perfectly conceivable. It may be true that The cat is
7 _# t+ t; o  b' e6 sblackL or that "Poliomyelitis is caused by a vims', but these propositions are not necessarily
1 t+ ~6 E+ r( L7 b+ O2 Ttrue. On the contrary, their falsity is perfectly conceivable, even if observation appears to# L9 A8 _  r9 `
confirm their truth.5 V# M- ~4 b( E0 g/ K
Analytic and Synthetic Propositions2 d; o+ _, v* Y7 }4 }# [7 c
The distinction just illustrated is variously referred to as the distinction between rational4 V# z& x5 Q( y7 C5 i8 g4 _7 ^
and empirical knowledge, or between a priori and a posteriori knowledge, or between
( H( L, j# ]* N+ n3 ^truths of reason and truths of fact And it is generally true to say that all philosophers have9 R  r6 o3 z0 y/ z
claimed, or at least implied, that their theories are rational and a priori. Where they have& W+ @% I5 X0 F; R* J- n
differed is in their view of the scope of such knowledge. And the main difference has been
+ `; @# K0 T9 `; A# ~% Ethat some have held that rational knowledge is always analytic, while others have held that
- ~) B* h' ~, o4 M  [it is sometimes synthetic.
" @/ N  N( a! P( G) L; f# R( [% [6 e  C" t$ M/ ?6 M
The difference between analytic and synthetic propositions was defined by the German& l$ U3 e$ g2 g* ?
philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) as follows: Analytic propositions, he said, 'add4 L! O6 S$ z# \: t$ n3 P! X& Z; M
nothing through the predicate to the concept of the subject, but merely break it up into those) A% {& S+ b% B+ [0 v+ ~/ b- Q
constituent concepts that have all along been thought in it, although confusedly', while synthetic6 [: I: J- X/ H1 r/ ]% e* x( y9 N
judgments 'add to the concept of the subject a predicate which has not been in any
- _. l/ V4 |& ?wise thought in it, and which no analysis could possibly extract from it'.1 The difference is,
6 ]6 C4 r( p% [9 [0 ]3 iin short, that the predicate in an analytic proposition is contained within the meaning of the) I$ N: h8 g! W  w: p
subject, while in a synthetic proposition the predicate is not contained within the meaning
9 D& S; e- y& |2 q1 h& }" T: hof the subject but adds something related to it. Kant illustrated the difference by the two# T7 ]4 \5 ~9 B) R" A' q% j5 P
propositions 'All bodies are extended' and 'All bodies are heavy'. The former, he thought,
4 F& ^; y: x/ E* k. P9 j7 r) _* X* ais analytic, because the concept of 'extension' is part of the meaning of 'body', while the
5 `" N3 k5 o1 S4 w6 Q, ^4 t7 M( Q$ dlatter is synthetic because the concept of 'heaviness' is not part of the meaning of 'body',
& [4 v, V5 ?8 R+ L  d; m7 w( ^$ Lbut only a quality which it acquires when it is placed in a gravitational field.
, v; S& G% l2 j8 @Kant's definition drew attention to an important difference between analytic and synthetic9 _9 J4 {5 n- p, a/ O# C, `/ K2 U
propositions, although not all analytic propositions naturally fall into the simple subject-
1 a$ q% B* I0 |$ q+ m0 gpredicate form which his examples illustrate. The essential characteristic of an analytic
7 c! U& E( Z, }proposition is that it defines the meaning, or part of the meaning, of its subject and does
6 H5 E9 |' }- y) _3 Fnot describe unessential features which may, or may not, belong to it A cube of iron has a
* h+ v, g8 Y3 S% q7 ]$ M- Pcertain weight at sea level, a smaller weight at the top of a high mountain, and no weight at6 v; U8 O+ ?+ {7 U
all at a certain point between the earth and the moon; but these differences are not essential. s+ Z& h$ I( u; F1 p% q0 I
elements in the meaning of the description 'cube of iron'. It is clear, on the other hand,  c3 c6 W- C* t) K. T2 A: M
that if the cube of iron had no extension it would not be a cube of iron, since extension is0 r: J! i0 s0 K& F) e" ~
an essential part of the meaning of the phrase 'cube of iron'. In other words, to deny an+ m- `3 H8 {' ^+ N0 h
analytic proposition is self-contradictory since that is simultaneously asserting and denying
2 m+ r! f% ]7 j$ ^the same thing. It is, to borrow Bertrand Russell's example, like saying 'A bald man is/ @3 l5 q- T- x1 y0 `( h& c0 a
not bald'.1
; I! X! ?& a2 G. AModern philosophers have devoted much attention to the study of analytic propositions,
9 P1 Y* i" D3 ^) B+ U' w8 ]& x! |3 iand many would agree with Professor Ayer that 'a proposition is analytic when its validity
+ w- u5 B( H5 P- ?/ S( @depends solely on the definitions of the symbols it contains',2 and that this is so because3 M# E3 E, e  M4 w; s
analytic propositions 'do not make any assertion about the empirical world They simply
  [0 {: p! ]" H  f; m5 e) b% srecord our determination to use words in a certain fashion.'3 They are, in other words, tautologies;2 C, _& d1 m8 g4 h$ J! G
and the reason why we think it worth while to assert them and sometimes, as in: c3 b4 a) i- z# X
mathematics, to draw elaborate deductions from them, is that our reason is too limited to
7 k% a) H% q4 `7 C; \recognize their full significance without going through these complex verbal processes.
3 @0 E( B2 M4 \These considerations may appear to be extremely abstract and their connection with& S) z6 Q1 Q2 c: n
what is commonly understood as 'political philosophy' far from obvious; but in fact this. V9 z' d3 V0 Z* f) E2 ]/ ^
connection is both simple and fundamental. For philosophy is the 'quest for certainty', and, ~6 A* V- G6 X; @/ g- d
if certainty is a characteristic of propositions, then an inquiry into the nature and scope of, [( Z% p3 N- L$ g) v
1 Critique of Pure Reason, Second Edition, Introduction.
5 H* y3 P  J& ?5 D6 B, Q1 The Problems of Philosophy, p. 129.' _  \9 G2 D+ U: c; n( @
2 Language, Truth, and Logic, Second Edition, p. 78.
4 q+ M; Q- K# u# XJ op. cit, p. 84.
( S8 {$ U, V+ U: D/ d3 [$ t9 q6 @: M3 W* Z
certain, i.e. a priori, propositions must be the essential task of all philosophy. If, in other
' q! \& ?* X; n/ q0 {/ ewords, the general object of philosophy is to discover the nature and implications of rational' @9 r  I8 q: S- V5 V# w+ `
thinking, then an enquiry into the nature of the propositions by which rational thinking) h5 @8 l% U' m1 H# D7 D% V  ^
is expressed is necessarily one of the most important tasks of philosophy so understood
; `; D- G) D+ y. ^: q* k; k' z5 UAll philosophers who have recognized the distinction between analytic and synthetic
) `3 g  p; v: {# v; {8 l3 R) wpropositions have agreed that analytic propositions are necessary and a priori. Controversy
, m3 J1 i: o7 U, R# r0 vhas centred on the question whether synthetic propositions may also sometimes be a priori.
1 P2 Z& y, ^/ m7 rAnd the different answers given to this question have determined very different conceptions
( g; y4 J& w1 X, @9 J! Aof the scope and purpose of philosophy. For if the propositions of philosophy must6 {; g$ g$ C' d
always be a priori, and a priori propositions must always be analytic, it follows that the
# ?& q0 V; Y$ {( v6 Ypropositions of philosophy must always be analytic.4 l- o! f% v( a; P; K# a9 C/ m8 A
Now one important class of proposition which is never analytic is the class of existential
7 ]4 x1 C7 |2 }) _4 h7 z3 C  Dpropositions, i.e. propositions asserting something of the real world. While it is necessarily
% d6 Y/ W3 L4 A: c4 ~true that 2 plus 2 equals 4, it is not necessarily true that there are four distinguishable3 o4 \' u3 q2 i8 c+ T+ A
objects in the real world. For example, if I have £2 in one pocket and £2 in another, it necessarily- i  G: v" \( V0 z/ g4 [+ F1 X
follows that I have £4. in both pockets, but it is for empirical observation to ascertain
! K2 `9 e! v; I) F8 A2 n/ Rwhether in fact I have £2 in one pocket and £2 in another pocket This simple example illustrates
; R6 h& _  ?8 Ithe important principle that analytic propositions apply only in a hypothetical sense
( P) L) @) n* ]to the real world. No analytic proposition of the form XA is BN can be asserted categorically1 ]- a6 C* J2 O6 h, H2 u
of the real world. It can only be asserted in the hypothetical form 'If X (some existing
! \1 s; f$ s/ G  D% m' ^& M; Nthing) is A then it must be B.' But the proposition asserting that X is in fact A is synthetic  ~  U0 w2 z+ g$ R# w5 U
and cannot be necessarily true unless synthetic propositions can be a priori
) m8 R0 @2 c! I/ n; g0 b7 u6 IThus if a priori propositions are always analytic, philosophy will be unable to demonstrate
; a4 y; m, s7 p6 ~2 I( V! N+ x+ e& W) Qthe truth of any proposition about the existing world except in so far as it is logically
6 W" B& C3 \0 Q1 Y6 k( g5 l; Jimplied by an existential proposition whose truth has been established (if it can be established)9 o+ K% }) H7 p0 |
by empirical observation. The function of philosophy, in other words, will be to
8 e9 Q. {0 v+ @& Aexamine the implications of propositions and not to demonstrate their truth.
# ^) j. }. l; E( }8 {9 s9 q* IAs already mentioned, however, it was widely believed until some fifty years ago that* @; I+ }: e7 d4 y1 `) s/ `" i
philosophy could establish facts about the existing world quite independently of experience.7 L- F: [1 O! [3 h
Philosophy was, indeed, often looked to for a rational justification of beliefs, such) D& |+ W8 N4 c7 F' M1 j( N- |
as religious or moral beliefs, already held on non-rational grounds, and it was assumed6 ~* X6 M1 I$ h6 q
that this justification could be given independently of experience. But during the present, w9 v# b- i( R
century there has been a strong reaction from these methods and a growing acceptance of$ Q* d" B! x. ~4 e( l& I- N) v  Q
the alternative view that the function of philosophy is to clarify rather than to extend the
* j) x  e* r5 `3 T# Z1 `1 u) s: scontent of human knowledge.( Z+ m8 E; d: P6 \- S: F4 C& W
The theory that a priori thinking can never by itself establish a truth about the existing
- B: k8 x' Z) H' lworld is known as Empiricism, since it always asserts that such propositions can be
+ W9 u: q/ @# destablished only by empirical observation. The alternative theory that a priori thinking can
, ~. _. l( a: T' yby itself establish truths about the existing world is known as Rationalism. And it is clear9 a  B3 W0 T; e0 A! B$ G3 ~
from the preceding discussion that Rationalism can be defended only if synthetic a priori& b  `  O, g; S! T) [1 b
propositions are possible. For if such propositions are not possible no proposition about the
1 o( [% z  s+ o2 X* y8 j1 \existing world can be established a priori, and some form of Empiricism must therefore1 o% Y# u# E5 M- h4 b7 g1 `$ {
be accepted
# `9 Z* u- T& K0 j4 p+ [' b( F; U' J" _0 w$ ^$ X
Before the present century, when the doctrine has received wide support, the most celebrated0 p7 c# y' e: ^  ^' t7 Z, r4 R5 J
exponent of Empiricism was the Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776),/ u  w6 a/ ~+ _2 \& ]
now generally recognized to have been one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Hume% h0 a% _% G7 O% E) ]$ y
held that the only propositions which are certainly true are those which describe A relations: ~% y4 s' P1 B9 a9 c, A( x9 a; B2 a8 Z
of ideas', by which he meant analytic relationships in the sense defined above. Those! R3 H* }! h% X5 a) W( E' e; r5 h
which describe "matters of factQ, i.e. synthetic propositions, cannot be rationally justified,( B4 h. F! b. Z0 K
although they can be accepted as true in so far as they are justified by direct observation.
3 b2 c! p# L4 @  v1 f/ k9 VBut of course the great majority of synthetic propositions—in particular, the socalled
6 R- t; h8 p  ]& d; V1 `! g'laws' of science—go far beyond this and make assertions which cannot be justified by
- Q8 I6 M' Z3 ^) fexperience.
# d, k) R2 _. I( i  r/ JThus Hume argued that the belief in the universal truth of scientific laws follows
# M2 y: R, w: Zrepeated observations of the sequences which they describe; but he denied that there is any
2 v) e7 L3 K5 @necessity in these sequences, or even in the occurrence of the belief that they are universal
' ?3 l! r2 o) ]( X+ gand necessary. If I infer that, because all observed samples of arsenic have proved to be
, _. S4 g& _$ t9 }: C1 Kpoisonous, therefore all samples whatsoever are poisonous, no logical justification of this7 J* U  O; H9 ^& J0 R- }
inference can, according to Hume, be given. It is just a fact that, following on the observation
! q! g, a& }  o. hof numerous samples of arsenic which prove to be poisonous, everybody believes9 x1 B' ^$ c! |& H+ ~
that all samples whatsoever will prove to be poisonous. But there is, according to Hume,
3 z4 l1 v/ ]2 E7 D/ Z3 Nno rational justification for this belief; it just happens to occur following on experience of
$ u* Q) A; x4 [, j% [9 b  h5 othe effects of arsenic in a limited number of instances, and just happens to have proved a: j* p# M4 Q; Z% F$ V
reliable guide in practice. There is no guarantee that it will prove to be true of all instances) H& P- V0 ]6 k. U) G4 o
whatsoever. Thus there is nothing A reasonable' in the belief in the a priori sense.
2 }& d5 X7 f. [- ?% z# I( xHume reached the same sceptical conclusions about the general propositions of morality.
8 k. O* G% [. _5 t4 mHe thought it obvious that these propositions are synthetic, and argued that they cannot
5 R# @$ e7 N* V! x: d- s6 `therefore be a priori Such propositions as C Jealousy is evilA or F Lying is wrongJ are,
+ T0 Q  q' a) Q0 Q. s2 Yhe thought, obviously synthetic in that their predicates are not part of the meaning of the
% _( v* C4 ?5 nsubjects. And such propositions cannot be a priori, for no necessary connection can, in his
) k* ?! u" _8 V1 q0 _* j! @view, be discerned between the subject and the predicate. Hence the basis for these moral( c8 }8 g& [3 A( A# \9 ]/ s
generalizations must be the same as the basis for the generalizations of natural science—
+ w* g6 W% x4 l4 @the observation of a limited number of instances. And this is not a rational ground for
+ f& ^% X2 z5 B2 }2 @asserting them.
4 a) Y7 Y1 L. D: {# p; r+ tHaving denied that moral generalizations have any logical necessity, Hume set himself# N0 U" V9 h# }9 ^
to analyse the empirical evidence on which they are based. He reached the conclusion that$ n5 \9 }0 g7 b% d1 I0 Q% F9 E
the basis of such generalizations is a peculiar type of sentiment or feeling. When I say
# i; ^+ L% `% m6 e/ V  o1 A0 k3 v' _"Honesty is goodN I am, according to Hume, saying, in a rather specific sense of the word
. m$ u; M( h: a'likeY, i Like honestyP. I am, in fact, describing not an inherent quality of honesty but a feeling
5 Q% R; j" m- |  c9 Aexcited in me by the contemplation of honesty. This feeling Hume called the 'pleasing7 L( W  u' f* s+ H  Z
sentiment of approbationU. He thought that moral disapproval in the same way expresses a- |8 j' s/ g0 A$ @9 M
sentiment of disapprobation. Thus Hume concluded that there is nothing "rationalE or "logicalH( T2 G# z3 ^- Q5 ~2 D6 j/ R
in morality and that it is impossible to show, on a priori grounds, that moral propositions& }- g1 [2 O9 [- E( L
are true or false. Their truth or falsity depends on the purely empirical question* `9 D- O0 q5 v0 p
whether they are or are not accurate descriptions of the feelings to which they relate." w5 L( r; I4 m, ^, z( i
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