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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。+ t, q: T3 l$ w: T

- X2 c1 X- c& m" o  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。; A. W2 Y5 M, B3 {7 q9 G

' X8 ?( L" G7 \2 _" F  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?% I% q& r  H6 R3 b$ d
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  从神的食物开始: n  @8 ~8 }$ C, O5 ]

3 k9 x# c: E2 V' c% f4 q  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。$ t2 F2 J1 _' X' d- }

/ u1 ~- R* L" \" \% J2 P; g6 I0 i( b  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。$ _$ D* L8 h) Z" _) ~

) h" U9 S9 L: h0 j2 \5 i: o* B" |  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。' f* k6 w  F# o9 v3 L% ~
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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。+ y( c! Z4 |3 U

. a, P. J8 s! c1 J( J! L- y" X  椒宫中的辛香味
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1 w3 w" X' J5 t; ?  A  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。
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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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; `- r( h" s' O) k  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。9 I- w- @7 V. a4 p  j% E, j
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  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。
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  不一样的青花椒  z( [+ W6 N8 n: V: W

4 W6 T9 L1 c0 W3 R5 ~: }) j  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。
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  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。/ z" k) S: E2 \1 v9 k1 k* Q9 a
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  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。
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  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。
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" o9 Z! B0 d5 K' ]1 B  麻能带来健康吗?( Y: I  X* q- W; E

4 Y3 J9 }0 N' C3 `; ~  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。9 Z6 n# h5 Z4 u

7 b; A. N) s" i  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。# r' N! l( L5 t/ A5 }5 }

  t* w( v/ K/ b  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。
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, p5 \6 U% K! D  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。# L, h! a$ m  Z6 w2 }: }+ q

0 C: G/ `, e% \7 |$ E1 w  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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$ O: X; r3 h  y' A5 f  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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  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& T4 m# d/ h+ f% _4 j& Z+ E/ F

- [4 W2 @5 @- d4 u# I. b4 p; U  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。, {2 W9 {" p3 ^; }. i
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" e8 z# T5 ]+ Y  P" D) n  如何识别劣质麻椒?" l9 y5 G# S) y

; Z7 x* u, F2 |5 Y% Z' t( t! I  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。- U: Q  ]) J: J* H

' P+ h! B- X: A# F1 X7 u  花椒也是现磨的好
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& ?6 ]1 P0 I) r5 z6 o' B  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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  手植记
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& D5 I; |5 u) ]3 X: S  我们快乐&精神食粮
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2 U6 T' y2 w# j  为生活寻找原生态食材

AN INTRODUCTION TO
& S  n* d' S* O% j. ~1 p$ WPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: C9 z' Q! N+ r. Z6 i& f5 I" D
by3 b5 L( Y) N7 j+ j* }5 v' `
A.R.M.MURRAY, M.A., PH.D.6 L( }; N) m" y5 h) w
Extension Lecturer in Social Philosophy5 Q' R& ~1 d8 d- \1 D) z
in the University of London" f6 J6 L+ w4 X

' {5 T: v4 U7 B* j. q4 s, ~: ]CONTENTS/ p0 c) `7 a  z8 Z# U$ A
PAGE
7 `' O& a" ~$ G! y' {PREFACE vi0 h/ x1 L$ W" F4 I
I THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 1
/ |& A' l2 s2 b/ ^5 xII THE POLITICAL THEORIES OF THE SOPHISTS 17
! S( I! ~, D7 C3 X6 `: OIII PLATO'S THEORY OF THE IDEAL STATE 24
! D2 R! E( y) o+ s8 OIV ARISTOTLE'S THEORY OF THE BEST POSSIBLE STATE 37% g  u5 Z  ~4 o$ k! o" m$ U
V POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY BETWEEN ARISTOTLE AND7 S( s7 h( Z. t) G: W6 H
MACHIAVELLI 470 [1 ~( s% l; T% G4 S
VI MACHIAVELLI ON THE SCIENCE OF GOVERNMENT 54
7 W! ^6 y4 @# w# R; l- y8 [# w; w* nVII HOBBES'S THEORY OF THE RATIONAL STATE 61
5 p% n; R" M, z# v# M& @VIII LOCKE'S THEORY OF THE MORAL STATE 73
8 q& l4 }& A" }8 J9 M- nIX ROUSSEAU'S THEORY OF THE GENERAL WILL 82
: w0 x& O6 j" a1 O9 c: V7 S) LX HUME AND BURKE ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF  |$ }# ?* a, Y" V# H
CONSERVATISM 92. Y2 V/ E  H; _9 `5 `5 A7 k
XI HEGEL'S IDEALIST THEORY OF THE STATE 1003 s9 R. D1 _* d
XII THE UTILITARIAN THEORIES OF BENTHAM AND MILL 1093 z: d- V5 k8 Z5 e
XIII MARXISM, COMMUNISM AND SOCIALISM 1232 V" s7 W8 B& Z# W* Y
XIV POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICS 140: c$ d8 S. b. V" `
XV THE JUSTIFICATION OF GOVERNMENT 151
$ @! b! |; J" [INDEX 161. x0 q; C/ \2 R( M1 k8 e/ r

5 @# l- R9 s+ y7 l# l! dCHAPTER I: F" V9 H2 N, x& Z! ]% u
The Nature and Scope of Political Philosophy
  {+ ]: n! ~2 t- x' f) g5 hUntil the beginning of the present century philosophy was generally regarded as a source
: o. p7 Z2 f' @, {$ |- h7 |7 l9 lof knowledge which transcended, both in scope and certainty, the discoveries of natural
. H0 r) O' I7 ~, }0 V" I' Wscience. Science, it was agreed, marked an advance on the uncritical and often unrelated
! b8 M) X1 I. a, j- M* q7 Vbeliefs of ordinary life, yet it was itself based on the observations of the senses and consisted1 g3 K1 u3 E+ R+ s
of the uncertain generalizations based upon them; whereas philosophy was assumed
* h. X! Z& V  }7 Kto answer questions about such subjects as the existence of God, the nature of knowledge,
" s- x* a$ P4 n# a  N. xand the authority of the moral law upon which sense-experience, from its very nature, could, F* _6 V+ S/ m/ u( B; d6 N2 ^
throw no light. On such subjects, it was believed, reason was alone competent to pronounce. x* Z. H$ d, s" V
and, when it did so, its conclusions were characterized by a logical and universal certainty
* m* f0 G; A0 Y1 V4 h4 H" E# ?* Uwhich the generalizations of natural science could never claim.
5 K# ]3 v; S0 j& ~( I' B+ @! VThat philosophical knowledge is certain and indubitable is a claim which, in a broad5 f1 O0 H: s7 A4 d+ i7 H  U5 b
sense, all philosophers have made, or at least implied; and if a short and simple definition
2 o" J$ ^4 \+ c- g6 |2 _of philosophy were sought the title of the late Professor Dewey 冯 GirTord Lectures—The
+ y2 K8 E2 h: n- H" IQuest for Certainty'—might serve as a starting point at least For all philosophers have
* C1 N+ ?& x2 t$ [claimed, or at least implied, that philosophical knowledge not only is, but must be, true.+ e6 R3 b/ C! C5 |
But this general agreement has not prevented fundamental differences of opinion regarding
' H- J! s0 c0 l8 ^* o9 O' d- Kthe nature and scope of such knowledge; and since these differences are reflected in the7 }+ C, w  s8 s
application of philosophy to the problems of political theory it is important to be aware,% Y7 a6 m5 b  f) }5 I) ~- u5 I
however generally, of their nature.# @7 x( _" r) i, W" }
The different conceptions of philosophy ultimately depend upon different conceptions
7 R$ o4 x( d2 p: |of the nature of indubitable knowledge. The propositions of mathematics are usually cited
  ]; f4 p: W/ H' ]/ Zas typical illustrations of such knowledge. For example, the proposition "Two plus two
8 h. O; w* }& {equals four1 is said to be necessarily and universally true on the ground that, once we have
( N5 Z/ H. B) G% F. I; I5 K( n2 sgrasped its meaning, we recognize that it must be necessarily and universally true, and$ L; h( H: N" X9 `7 f2 N
because further instances of its truth do not increase our certainty that it must always be' l1 o& Y/ r* {% M* R3 u
true. Its falsity, in other words, is inconceivable. On the other hand, there are numerous8 b$ q% e' ^9 n; o0 ~, }, ]
propositions of which the falsity is perfectly conceivable. It may be true that The cat is" S8 W; x+ D% l1 V. j; q  ^
blackL or that "Poliomyelitis is caused by a vims', but these propositions are not necessarily9 D6 Y8 t8 ~9 R$ R; Y4 h7 p& d
true. On the contrary, their falsity is perfectly conceivable, even if observation appears to2 W4 s5 _8 z, [* w$ y9 T
confirm their truth.6 m5 i/ {. S5 c: S- J$ R
Analytic and Synthetic Propositions
; R& E  t6 `/ P6 rThe distinction just illustrated is variously referred to as the distinction between rational
# t: I! x. N8 g' ~8 }; uand empirical knowledge, or between a priori and a posteriori knowledge, or between
% K8 D$ p9 Y1 {/ `7 L. _: xtruths of reason and truths of fact And it is generally true to say that all philosophers have# p9 v2 J0 Z( @4 d
claimed, or at least implied, that their theories are rational and a priori. Where they have
0 |; o5 r7 k! ediffered is in their view of the scope of such knowledge. And the main difference has been
  y5 k$ w, g1 o: Vthat some have held that rational knowledge is always analytic, while others have held that
( E" r9 m& U, b2 Eit is sometimes synthetic.
  s: s7 n. L6 [
4 ~6 ]* r' p6 A" kThe difference between analytic and synthetic propositions was defined by the German3 d' C8 e% M9 s1 }3 y  [/ K
philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) as follows: Analytic propositions, he said, 'add8 c$ {) A3 S0 k; d  L
nothing through the predicate to the concept of the subject, but merely break it up into those
1 J% ?, l. c2 i8 R+ K* O5 u, hconstituent concepts that have all along been thought in it, although confusedly', while synthetic
1 M0 B/ L8 B1 I4 ?4 ^9 X9 Hjudgments 'add to the concept of the subject a predicate which has not been in any9 U# w) y" @* y  N. t* B, Y2 T
wise thought in it, and which no analysis could possibly extract from it'.1 The difference is,
9 F$ y$ C( p9 {1 p, e  cin short, that the predicate in an analytic proposition is contained within the meaning of the9 g" R7 ^' O' d, g3 _. w. S2 n
subject, while in a synthetic proposition the predicate is not contained within the meaning* m! U9 _' i2 N' F
of the subject but adds something related to it. Kant illustrated the difference by the two
& \/ U6 \; V. s# n; n0 B5 m/ xpropositions 'All bodies are extended' and 'All bodies are heavy'. The former, he thought,
9 m* p6 {! U- ~is analytic, because the concept of 'extension' is part of the meaning of 'body', while the
; t# Q$ {' M/ v. [# Z; Llatter is synthetic because the concept of 'heaviness' is not part of the meaning of 'body',- V) j# x' C+ Q
but only a quality which it acquires when it is placed in a gravitational field.
" v  f3 O0 W# Z2 p9 w4 ^+ }Kant's definition drew attention to an important difference between analytic and synthetic* q: A3 V& b, j: h8 s
propositions, although not all analytic propositions naturally fall into the simple subject-
* f1 b% o' V/ m% g7 f! h7 }! O- epredicate form which his examples illustrate. The essential characteristic of an analytic
( S/ k* f' u# Yproposition is that it defines the meaning, or part of the meaning, of its subject and does! v% {( t! x/ |: d# {  W- Y
not describe unessential features which may, or may not, belong to it A cube of iron has a! g" ~0 D1 b9 J1 \- b
certain weight at sea level, a smaller weight at the top of a high mountain, and no weight at
  V. [" ^" ~8 k0 aall at a certain point between the earth and the moon; but these differences are not essential
$ X  s" S; y& j5 Z  x/ Selements in the meaning of the description 'cube of iron'. It is clear, on the other hand,, C' U' b4 t5 t- Q- T- f
that if the cube of iron had no extension it would not be a cube of iron, since extension is
( A1 ~3 ]* {/ |: Uan essential part of the meaning of the phrase 'cube of iron'. In other words, to deny an4 y5 {3 X# j  a
analytic proposition is self-contradictory since that is simultaneously asserting and denying4 w/ M/ I2 F& a, R, n
the same thing. It is, to borrow Bertrand Russell's example, like saying 'A bald man is$ c- f1 _# H; f6 ]4 x2 q+ R9 J; Q
not bald'.1
* Y( p. X: I+ C7 _2 WModern philosophers have devoted much attention to the study of analytic propositions,9 m: [) G. F: p7 R
and many would agree with Professor Ayer that 'a proposition is analytic when its validity
% n9 Y; m$ E# ]8 ydepends solely on the definitions of the symbols it contains',2 and that this is so because
$ l5 c# H# R6 ~+ n5 H8 }4 m# o/ Nanalytic propositions 'do not make any assertion about the empirical world They simply: `- z+ k: Y  }. A0 y
record our determination to use words in a certain fashion.'3 They are, in other words, tautologies;
/ l# x0 r0 q; J+ [5 Zand the reason why we think it worth while to assert them and sometimes, as in3 @8 Y" F( B% D/ @0 G
mathematics, to draw elaborate deductions from them, is that our reason is too limited to7 Q/ A* r% J+ y/ H: _2 D# y$ [
recognize their full significance without going through these complex verbal processes.9 m: P. T$ u1 r2 [2 ?( {
These considerations may appear to be extremely abstract and their connection with
, P, y7 t6 {; T+ {: Nwhat is commonly understood as 'political philosophy' far from obvious; but in fact this
7 \! H4 r& |! Y+ ?connection is both simple and fundamental. For philosophy is the 'quest for certainty', and8 C' ~# r8 K0 m* {2 s0 u
if certainty is a characteristic of propositions, then an inquiry into the nature and scope of/ R- q, m: `5 x  _+ w' B
1 Critique of Pure Reason, Second Edition, Introduction.! A% ~9 s& I/ Z" w& o* Y( s
1 The Problems of Philosophy, p. 129.
& h# O: I& U- {  X3 t2 _( v2 Language, Truth, and Logic, Second Edition, p. 78.% G6 A) W  J. \
J op. cit, p. 84." [8 y0 C, q# w
1 W; T6 z7 W; S: D' y
certain, i.e. a priori, propositions must be the essential task of all philosophy. If, in other
' s- F+ z7 R3 R- H* e& B+ ewords, the general object of philosophy is to discover the nature and implications of rational
* U* }& V+ u6 K; ]' o, O" \thinking, then an enquiry into the nature of the propositions by which rational thinking
( i# u1 o: B! z' \1 Gis expressed is necessarily one of the most important tasks of philosophy so understood
: |8 U5 N9 C( C* W# kAll philosophers who have recognized the distinction between analytic and synthetic
7 Z& H! i; K" t1 ~propositions have agreed that analytic propositions are necessary and a priori. Controversy
: U) y" N; n" l' n- P* [has centred on the question whether synthetic propositions may also sometimes be a priori.2 e+ H$ P) V# R8 p& u
And the different answers given to this question have determined very different conceptions
2 S- B5 q; R# B; O8 K" |' Lof the scope and purpose of philosophy. For if the propositions of philosophy must' J4 ^1 \. f2 }  _9 ^
always be a priori, and a priori propositions must always be analytic, it follows that the
! V! P' a: ?+ apropositions of philosophy must always be analytic.' u& A; E* b" S8 V/ S8 ^/ d# e
Now one important class of proposition which is never analytic is the class of existential
7 B5 N' d5 T" G% npropositions, i.e. propositions asserting something of the real world. While it is necessarily  y, V9 k8 l3 A- c
true that 2 plus 2 equals 4, it is not necessarily true that there are four distinguishable0 Y* S# p% p; a2 Y
objects in the real world. For example, if I have £2 in one pocket and £2 in another, it necessarily3 k/ e! U. G; R
follows that I have £4. in both pockets, but it is for empirical observation to ascertain( r) C( v- z, f& K; [& |! G3 b6 w
whether in fact I have £2 in one pocket and £2 in another pocket This simple example illustrates
1 z' p) q6 a2 S/ Y7 @/ ]2 k: ?the important principle that analytic propositions apply only in a hypothetical sense
7 [+ b5 z3 ]% b& ^8 t: Xto the real world. No analytic proposition of the form XA is BN can be asserted categorically+ G) W3 Q7 A5 r0 E7 m9 z
of the real world. It can only be asserted in the hypothetical form 'If X (some existing7 h- f# Q1 V7 `% h$ B1 w0 m2 q
thing) is A then it must be B.' But the proposition asserting that X is in fact A is synthetic0 ]  J- a4 [& x
and cannot be necessarily true unless synthetic propositions can be a priori9 J/ E; ^& J, F" P
Thus if a priori propositions are always analytic, philosophy will be unable to demonstrate0 D/ b8 G# X: m) {; s
the truth of any proposition about the existing world except in so far as it is logically) U4 Q. L5 j9 i6 q- S
implied by an existential proposition whose truth has been established (if it can be established)6 p2 M$ J, _3 l; k! N% K! _
by empirical observation. The function of philosophy, in other words, will be to
$ G: H9 K  D! Uexamine the implications of propositions and not to demonstrate their truth.; w; B3 ]9 \2 N- a# V1 [
As already mentioned, however, it was widely believed until some fifty years ago that
  O" s$ R8 [3 q8 L9 Gphilosophy could establish facts about the existing world quite independently of experience.
  b( U- A4 m9 U# zPhilosophy was, indeed, often looked to for a rational justification of beliefs, such
4 L. b! r0 |- y" w" G' E; a/ t- x1 uas religious or moral beliefs, already held on non-rational grounds, and it was assumed
& i7 k4 @4 J7 Y7 [6 U9 P8 s1 uthat this justification could be given independently of experience. But during the present
6 C. }% o. y' Wcentury there has been a strong reaction from these methods and a growing acceptance of( P; F+ g+ m) g; P( n; p# T9 o. U4 J
the alternative view that the function of philosophy is to clarify rather than to extend the
0 A' c- ~2 A3 w9 \" N- N. o3 R& econtent of human knowledge.9 P- [) u: w# u; Z5 n: |. S& m6 X" s
The theory that a priori thinking can never by itself establish a truth about the existing
0 e# R; O& |9 v! H0 ~world is known as Empiricism, since it always asserts that such propositions can be: }5 k: T/ Z8 p) _6 W! a3 Y* b
established only by empirical observation. The alternative theory that a priori thinking can% D. g* ~! u8 \
by itself establish truths about the existing world is known as Rationalism. And it is clear0 z* t1 [2 a1 z
from the preceding discussion that Rationalism can be defended only if synthetic a priori
+ d: N+ b$ o3 f/ L$ x5 Apropositions are possible. For if such propositions are not possible no proposition about the% x. k7 C0 U; Y
existing world can be established a priori, and some form of Empiricism must therefore8 F! w3 f1 T" p* z& R) Y
be accepted. N) t) j2 \' V9 ]- F8 I9 C2 Z

5 X4 F& P, |5 a1 T6 [Before the present century, when the doctrine has received wide support, the most celebrated
: f4 v+ P. G* b; c2 E) \. V8 Eexponent of Empiricism was the Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776),; Z% F' @* U- y( G6 J" b2 z6 i0 {
now generally recognized to have been one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Hume! e6 [& M7 O1 l) L) X3 Y
held that the only propositions which are certainly true are those which describe A relations
* V: z0 P; Z8 o. l9 J. L( xof ideas', by which he meant analytic relationships in the sense defined above. Those
( w6 [% h$ ?; P; w, A0 Bwhich describe "matters of factQ, i.e. synthetic propositions, cannot be rationally justified,
3 S/ B. `$ D4 |( E0 \1 B9 jalthough they can be accepted as true in so far as they are justified by direct observation.
/ k2 }$ @1 O5 I- q6 |But of course the great majority of synthetic propositions—in particular, the socalled
  b- o/ [7 y* b, ?& x$ B'laws' of science—go far beyond this and make assertions which cannot be justified by
  ^# ?$ Z* z0 Y5 f$ E7 @experience.# I7 m  l' T/ [* z4 |, h1 A7 l
Thus Hume argued that the belief in the universal truth of scientific laws follows
; @9 H2 ?; C/ L6 lrepeated observations of the sequences which they describe; but he denied that there is any
3 }6 ~# f4 y6 ]* s, w$ M2 L" ~1 Wnecessity in these sequences, or even in the occurrence of the belief that they are universal
/ d5 k/ K! x% T9 jand necessary. If I infer that, because all observed samples of arsenic have proved to be4 _/ }1 }7 o# z. g, m2 M
poisonous, therefore all samples whatsoever are poisonous, no logical justification of this" o) `; l) ?& j3 g8 ^; n
inference can, according to Hume, be given. It is just a fact that, following on the observation& J9 Q- {5 B# F! ?0 K( M2 [0 R" y7 a
of numerous samples of arsenic which prove to be poisonous, everybody believes1 R: k$ D( s  t5 b
that all samples whatsoever will prove to be poisonous. But there is, according to Hume,; Q/ i5 x8 P% b  w
no rational justification for this belief; it just happens to occur following on experience of! f7 q! v) u3 l& B3 e0 V
the effects of arsenic in a limited number of instances, and just happens to have proved a
4 S0 _2 j* `9 }7 Zreliable guide in practice. There is no guarantee that it will prove to be true of all instances
" I( U2 o' ?- ~& C' Hwhatsoever. Thus there is nothing A reasonable' in the belief in the a priori sense.* k5 N" I; G9 A1 G+ S! a& @$ i6 q
Hume reached the same sceptical conclusions about the general propositions of morality.
: F$ l; z* x- _0 RHe thought it obvious that these propositions are synthetic, and argued that they cannot
" e) R, B2 G* ?3 @therefore be a priori Such propositions as C Jealousy is evilA or F Lying is wrongJ are,
. {' s0 G) W4 Y  A- W) {% l5 Uhe thought, obviously synthetic in that their predicates are not part of the meaning of the
7 b! h. w$ m" m/ B" zsubjects. And such propositions cannot be a priori, for no necessary connection can, in his
6 e( _$ ]( B3 oview, be discerned between the subject and the predicate. Hence the basis for these moral
3 z7 v! h7 W+ b3 e) x/ S4 ageneralizations must be the same as the basis for the generalizations of natural science—
% q6 u3 l, t, ]1 Nthe observation of a limited number of instances. And this is not a rational ground for
7 c) l8 f% M) m/ fasserting them.  P) W+ C% w2 b  P( g& s6 z: d
Having denied that moral generalizations have any logical necessity, Hume set himself
+ M6 S  S% A; Kto analyse the empirical evidence on which they are based. He reached the conclusion that' M7 U: o3 D: B# e0 r3 ^7 r# ?4 k% K
the basis of such generalizations is a peculiar type of sentiment or feeling. When I say
2 ]8 }" c3 P* G( v"Honesty is goodN I am, according to Hume, saying, in a rather specific sense of the word
- C! m4 t# v# I$ n6 d'likeY, i Like honestyP. I am, in fact, describing not an inherent quality of honesty but a feeling" o5 b' |3 T0 D; y  \/ B3 ?
excited in me by the contemplation of honesty. This feeling Hume called the 'pleasing" g: ?$ P& b+ A6 ]9 ^/ P
sentiment of approbationU. He thought that moral disapproval in the same way expresses a; i* I+ ~; x1 i5 _9 U
sentiment of disapprobation. Thus Hume concluded that there is nothing "rationalE or "logicalH6 C: C0 j$ Y( g& U6 P
in morality and that it is impossible to show, on a priori grounds, that moral propositions6 J- `) M2 f3 Q- O8 a
are true or false. Their truth or falsity depends on the purely empirical question" T4 n& e5 f) o4 f2 A
whether they are or are not accurate descriptions of the feelings to which they relate.) e. p) [% L  X' e1 d5 Q2 U3 ]
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