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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。
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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。3 H1 J3 e( o1 j4 H' {: r! n9 A& x

: N+ }) J4 {# q2 O. y) v" ~' G- [+ f4 ~  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?# `; h3 Y/ d/ W8 e0 D3 d5 ~2 f

7 D, l& E1 e. U% N; O* w  从神的食物开始6 [8 |. b2 \; X* w- s
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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。6 m& f4 p" R% n  @2 O1 \

2 A+ A$ N5 ^+ n9 e4 V  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。
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: C+ t1 @7 @+ G7 ~% N) h: O  i  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。
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! C3 X$ z2 k% |! \& ~- D  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。( P# o6 g' O# o
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  椒宫中的辛香味9 d( G# ^' l) I8 f7 Q

2 \9 J% E8 q$ Y0 }' `  Z  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。, F$ D; J( Q" M% R! G; L
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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。, {& ^8 k: i2 s- d2 d+ k

( V, k6 t# y0 u) }0 r  d# L+ x, F$ o  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。* f" b. x9 Z  R2 {5 Z7 J# y
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  不一样的青花椒% K: r. a8 l7 J

7 @: D) l9 L+ E3 F# V' q  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。. M& T! P0 R1 J6 c# F

. Y( J9 K. R& s7 H# Y  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。
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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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* k& i0 Y5 u" U  c, ^: |  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。1 j5 n) T" d; I( j/ P1 h

6 D% P/ d; Q% [7 N+ N  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。, t5 `- i0 ^% G6 z

) `  N0 c8 T" f* E$ g" M4 q  麻能带来健康吗?# Q5 v. R& }3 }& G
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  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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  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。% j/ d( Z' K* B4 _
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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。/ D. ]$ h" K7 D6 M/ ]# M

4 z! y2 @6 `2 s2 ?# S  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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1 y/ {% z# D( p* a% ?% u4 q  牙膏里的花椒
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* g; @, }0 J6 V7 r" y8 H( S1 X  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。
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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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6 s+ ?6 d3 o9 d) G7 `  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。  d. N$ c" A" f, c- U+ P0 X+ {
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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。
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) Z; ?# s$ F, O9 N  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。& R% J3 r1 s6 j9 R. }

6 R2 @5 Z4 w  L' v  小贴士
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* X2 i0 N% A8 \/ w/ G  如何识别劣质麻椒?4 N, P% r5 C7 j" w. m
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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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  花椒也是现磨的好4 h+ q" b8 d6 H+ t8 ]

6 y3 d- H/ r, c+ c" r  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。/ `7 F. s  P- k1 p
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  手植记, n6 ~0 p+ z. r3 R" q. g7 v* [

/ o4 e- _9 J. K. l$ r: o# P9 d  我们快乐&精神食粮
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. g) u6 V0 W6 `* D- Z  为生活寻找原生态食材

AN INTRODUCTION TO+ m: m* l7 T; W% D
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY& }, m- f3 B1 e& f8 C2 G. S4 R  T, F
by
: g0 R. h7 B+ K' u# @( ]* sA.R.M.MURRAY, M.A., PH.D.8 `9 r/ b. L: b! V: n1 M
Extension Lecturer in Social Philosophy1 s  n; n/ S& p5 C
in the University of London6 a! O2 c' r- r+ Q" m* m  N& I
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CONTENTS4 x7 m" I$ k4 ~1 A/ }0 r$ Z
PAGE# c- B0 g* m# l3 \
PREFACE vi
( G0 }( Q2 ^! _2 @I THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 1
7 R1 Q; q) H+ F5 e/ nII THE POLITICAL THEORIES OF THE SOPHISTS 17
" I- l; q/ b& `* r' U/ E. W# x- lIII PLATO'S THEORY OF THE IDEAL STATE 24
- U' G- F; ~% b$ }- A6 Y/ WIV ARISTOTLE'S THEORY OF THE BEST POSSIBLE STATE 37
3 a. L: b7 n' yV POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY BETWEEN ARISTOTLE AND! b+ l; z, e) S; ~
MACHIAVELLI 47! |* u; v7 A& D+ m+ _
VI MACHIAVELLI ON THE SCIENCE OF GOVERNMENT 54
1 R) g- M( V: t5 d  h1 p. D4 hVII HOBBES'S THEORY OF THE RATIONAL STATE 61
! W9 H; O1 H& ?4 t9 b) EVIII LOCKE'S THEORY OF THE MORAL STATE 73
- Z6 L# Z5 u: i. zIX ROUSSEAU'S THEORY OF THE GENERAL WILL 82
( t& j& a0 `$ q- Q. E9 ZX HUME AND BURKE ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF
* }; {3 s1 C: n, Q/ C. {3 MCONSERVATISM 92
8 ~1 ^8 f$ {8 z9 NXI HEGEL'S IDEALIST THEORY OF THE STATE 100
8 z) W; U+ m% I6 E9 DXII THE UTILITARIAN THEORIES OF BENTHAM AND MILL 109
6 W, ~; z6 \: F/ cXIII MARXISM, COMMUNISM AND SOCIALISM 123) I; P8 U- A, Q2 S
XIV POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICS 140
$ Y6 d1 m7 y& q' Y, CXV THE JUSTIFICATION OF GOVERNMENT 151
1 }4 s7 o. E' OINDEX 161
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0 l; R4 H) g4 h4 {# T/ ACHAPTER I
& {' Y8 x$ R( r4 L  LThe Nature and Scope of Political Philosophy
, k8 L6 `4 B5 L( I' z. ?* qUntil the beginning of the present century philosophy was generally regarded as a source6 V4 ]; m1 D) e* x4 c# R
of knowledge which transcended, both in scope and certainty, the discoveries of natural# T0 T& L  ^0 ]5 o' m9 j  h( Q( H
science. Science, it was agreed, marked an advance on the uncritical and often unrelated7 I" k, @" _" {+ x9 E+ j. u
beliefs of ordinary life, yet it was itself based on the observations of the senses and consisted
7 @, ~% O0 w6 O' k' }/ w& G5 \' o- lof the uncertain generalizations based upon them; whereas philosophy was assumed2 K, \6 b3 J! Z8 @
to answer questions about such subjects as the existence of God, the nature of knowledge,* Z3 S1 _8 b1 B' E5 }9 m! s
and the authority of the moral law upon which sense-experience, from its very nature, could% \4 j8 ^; z6 c7 F8 m5 w
throw no light. On such subjects, it was believed, reason was alone competent to pronounce
+ k! W* ?; m( M- ^- band, when it did so, its conclusions were characterized by a logical and universal certainty, [; D6 `, ~# D
which the generalizations of natural science could never claim.
- i- M( n" w! k6 F8 AThat philosophical knowledge is certain and indubitable is a claim which, in a broad
3 S- C# T2 \" [0 o  w7 Fsense, all philosophers have made, or at least implied; and if a short and simple definition
  v! [9 s% O; m7 I9 e- G& Dof philosophy were sought the title of the late Professor Dewey 冯 GirTord Lectures—The
% r* A- Y8 R  ^; T9 BQuest for Certainty'—might serve as a starting point at least For all philosophers have0 ]4 c- E+ b& b/ L/ q0 D- ^* p2 j
claimed, or at least implied, that philosophical knowledge not only is, but must be, true.$ c4 h1 v: t2 `" f  a$ _$ J
But this general agreement has not prevented fundamental differences of opinion regarding
' Y3 H2 v. m+ I, Q/ p0 sthe nature and scope of such knowledge; and since these differences are reflected in the. n! T, `3 E" B( S; |7 _* {+ o
application of philosophy to the problems of political theory it is important to be aware,1 G7 b6 B. Q6 \% L! f0 [
however generally, of their nature.$ H" `9 @9 u: _0 w6 i6 O* }: _0 q9 q: X
The different conceptions of philosophy ultimately depend upon different conceptions' b+ Q% ?& w( J' I+ d2 s* `5 Y
of the nature of indubitable knowledge. The propositions of mathematics are usually cited
9 P2 |- n) B6 V( Has typical illustrations of such knowledge. For example, the proposition "Two plus two1 c+ M0 R8 s, b" R9 ]
equals four1 is said to be necessarily and universally true on the ground that, once we have
/ Y5 [0 ~# y7 |8 b7 ]grasped its meaning, we recognize that it must be necessarily and universally true, and
6 q9 d5 N' ]* _because further instances of its truth do not increase our certainty that it must always be" G' `8 P9 _5 v6 m$ i$ k# n( W3 ~
true. Its falsity, in other words, is inconceivable. On the other hand, there are numerous
$ ~, l: d; H) N1 l  U- |propositions of which the falsity is perfectly conceivable. It may be true that The cat is
% e  a! r  E( I) L, a, S; q, {blackL or that "Poliomyelitis is caused by a vims', but these propositions are not necessarily
6 H; ~" M8 P; Rtrue. On the contrary, their falsity is perfectly conceivable, even if observation appears to- }! `8 W/ I' Z
confirm their truth.$ O3 I, Y* b) ^/ f3 H* _
Analytic and Synthetic Propositions
+ ?5 w, `* ]* H& vThe distinction just illustrated is variously referred to as the distinction between rational) W. L' I- `# f* f6 o
and empirical knowledge, or between a priori and a posteriori knowledge, or between; J2 v8 o  j5 x# m: C6 v
truths of reason and truths of fact And it is generally true to say that all philosophers have
# e" d. [9 y: F7 S  Hclaimed, or at least implied, that their theories are rational and a priori. Where they have, W$ A+ T) F: j3 F
differed is in their view of the scope of such knowledge. And the main difference has been
, f% W7 F' n, I  Q$ ]$ o" Tthat some have held that rational knowledge is always analytic, while others have held that+ U1 A  n' J: |0 Y& i! \, R
it is sometimes synthetic.4 s2 i% e; h3 q

$ ^8 d4 k. i& v0 b) T! [: dThe difference between analytic and synthetic propositions was defined by the German
7 v7 Y9 [& m: L& o0 c/ uphilosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) as follows: Analytic propositions, he said, 'add% s7 n/ S7 S* y2 A
nothing through the predicate to the concept of the subject, but merely break it up into those
2 m1 P! k* ]- F, Nconstituent concepts that have all along been thought in it, although confusedly', while synthetic
) E6 {: u- ]7 ^# J" C& E6 G( ajudgments 'add to the concept of the subject a predicate which has not been in any
+ @$ n0 c1 z" E% twise thought in it, and which no analysis could possibly extract from it'.1 The difference is,8 b$ B- T& O) x& ~8 t: K3 P
in short, that the predicate in an analytic proposition is contained within the meaning of the. D- e$ R" ^4 m" Z& ]
subject, while in a synthetic proposition the predicate is not contained within the meaning
/ ~: w: k9 q" s1 e4 e1 _1 @* {of the subject but adds something related to it. Kant illustrated the difference by the two8 A; Q( ?2 I5 ~
propositions 'All bodies are extended' and 'All bodies are heavy'. The former, he thought,' z) f& T: a# r* z* _- @! I
is analytic, because the concept of 'extension' is part of the meaning of 'body', while the
+ w9 @  T$ }# N# j% x+ \! Alatter is synthetic because the concept of 'heaviness' is not part of the meaning of 'body',+ @  h1 E* x. e: Z& B6 Y7 t; u
but only a quality which it acquires when it is placed in a gravitational field.
9 E( I5 w3 R, \, H3 ZKant's definition drew attention to an important difference between analytic and synthetic
1 Y  q/ i: y& a3 U3 `% S0 kpropositions, although not all analytic propositions naturally fall into the simple subject-) [3 X% b; n' V1 J6 X' J" c) j/ |
predicate form which his examples illustrate. The essential characteristic of an analytic
! ~- g* d5 G* W' Uproposition is that it defines the meaning, or part of the meaning, of its subject and does3 U$ m4 h- a6 v  W. H
not describe unessential features which may, or may not, belong to it A cube of iron has a
% ?4 n' w7 o- g  {certain weight at sea level, a smaller weight at the top of a high mountain, and no weight at
1 G% y+ Q. l* }4 T# G' Iall at a certain point between the earth and the moon; but these differences are not essential- ^# f9 ?: s; Q& p* m: U8 m- ~) m
elements in the meaning of the description 'cube of iron'. It is clear, on the other hand,
( R: |* A. d  o5 u/ dthat if the cube of iron had no extension it would not be a cube of iron, since extension is
8 Y* v7 G, o8 V$ _% qan essential part of the meaning of the phrase 'cube of iron'. In other words, to deny an7 `, f" Q% b" e5 o& ~7 K
analytic proposition is self-contradictory since that is simultaneously asserting and denying
  C, V6 p0 k% e4 h% w& h; ]0 kthe same thing. It is, to borrow Bertrand Russell's example, like saying 'A bald man is* f# X+ `* a' u1 ^) j. w& W; Z
not bald'.1  V" E0 E6 l6 P$ ^
Modern philosophers have devoted much attention to the study of analytic propositions,7 d- W4 `- b% ?/ ]  P$ r
and many would agree with Professor Ayer that 'a proposition is analytic when its validity4 a# Q6 X% w6 t
depends solely on the definitions of the symbols it contains',2 and that this is so because
8 X* ]) I+ X0 n( Danalytic propositions 'do not make any assertion about the empirical world They simply
8 s+ ?, ?) l8 ]record our determination to use words in a certain fashion.'3 They are, in other words, tautologies;
& W+ Z3 Y' `8 M, G/ {7 R" ?and the reason why we think it worth while to assert them and sometimes, as in
! h5 h, e) Y; Zmathematics, to draw elaborate deductions from them, is that our reason is too limited to
  S  u+ e& u7 j. zrecognize their full significance without going through these complex verbal processes.
" z" W" P5 E6 IThese considerations may appear to be extremely abstract and their connection with4 J( {+ Z' i+ u2 E
what is commonly understood as 'political philosophy' far from obvious; but in fact this
% w# `' u4 }4 gconnection is both simple and fundamental. For philosophy is the 'quest for certainty', and% e) M% \1 W5 M; u6 d" [3 \$ c
if certainty is a characteristic of propositions, then an inquiry into the nature and scope of
8 A. c/ ]5 f/ F- H* a1 Critique of Pure Reason, Second Edition, Introduction.
1 Z/ Y& H- [9 t# F; H1 h1 The Problems of Philosophy, p. 129.
( ]( ]! ^4 v7 X+ B2 Language, Truth, and Logic, Second Edition, p. 78.
* l5 K" a2 p! F( e+ ^& u7 p% S0 A# |8 GJ op. cit, p. 84.
, N6 o7 D/ t  y* ?: _1 ^4 o6 \" h
! ?5 w/ t- c% y! gcertain, i.e. a priori, propositions must be the essential task of all philosophy. If, in other1 O7 o# h- {  `: t; o: m
words, the general object of philosophy is to discover the nature and implications of rational6 V7 x, H" n) `0 j5 n+ m3 R
thinking, then an enquiry into the nature of the propositions by which rational thinking
: l8 i5 U$ c' {; d9 a, tis expressed is necessarily one of the most important tasks of philosophy so understood0 i. N4 m, |0 j/ W
All philosophers who have recognized the distinction between analytic and synthetic; B$ A4 d+ t' l( ?
propositions have agreed that analytic propositions are necessary and a priori. Controversy6 L$ G+ h0 M7 k3 \
has centred on the question whether synthetic propositions may also sometimes be a priori.
* \' K) T1 b, t/ x/ ~And the different answers given to this question have determined very different conceptions& c6 F* J' y( O5 P7 |( Y( G7 t
of the scope and purpose of philosophy. For if the propositions of philosophy must5 o1 o% i) R; y6 j' i
always be a priori, and a priori propositions must always be analytic, it follows that the
0 j6 Y3 ]4 j( |: ~+ }) `1 n8 F4 spropositions of philosophy must always be analytic.
: d% M5 S# E! E+ O' C  u% q& NNow one important class of proposition which is never analytic is the class of existential3 d+ R) L! o6 n* V2 I9 U/ G
propositions, i.e. propositions asserting something of the real world. While it is necessarily
( R# M! P/ g( o8 [2 Wtrue that 2 plus 2 equals 4, it is not necessarily true that there are four distinguishable% J9 j0 s9 O& ~) Z
objects in the real world. For example, if I have £2 in one pocket and £2 in another, it necessarily/ ^( x, a# `5 p
follows that I have £4. in both pockets, but it is for empirical observation to ascertain
( s( s0 c" f! d5 r- I/ Twhether in fact I have £2 in one pocket and £2 in another pocket This simple example illustrates+ H# H. n3 d8 M
the important principle that analytic propositions apply only in a hypothetical sense
4 \4 s8 ]# G( |' j) Mto the real world. No analytic proposition of the form XA is BN can be asserted categorically; Q% g( t7 a( ?
of the real world. It can only be asserted in the hypothetical form 'If X (some existing
1 O# B4 h( d& C) Tthing) is A then it must be B.' But the proposition asserting that X is in fact A is synthetic
8 d3 n  d1 y- S. yand cannot be necessarily true unless synthetic propositions can be a priori! Z9 ]" Y2 P" c; K4 x5 [
Thus if a priori propositions are always analytic, philosophy will be unable to demonstrate3 A% V+ |& w& q4 O: R5 E! s
the truth of any proposition about the existing world except in so far as it is logically4 R% k1 w9 A1 S1 B/ O
implied by an existential proposition whose truth has been established (if it can be established)  @1 w2 _3 j8 M
by empirical observation. The function of philosophy, in other words, will be to7 f% O0 p% D+ w( c' p& O; ]
examine the implications of propositions and not to demonstrate their truth.
, C4 R+ H9 g: K! l( Z( x, rAs already mentioned, however, it was widely believed until some fifty years ago that( W4 ?. g7 _( d
philosophy could establish facts about the existing world quite independently of experience.
' q: t, d  s7 h, P$ Y, tPhilosophy was, indeed, often looked to for a rational justification of beliefs, such6 W, ]5 H! S6 }& M  T. f' e
as religious or moral beliefs, already held on non-rational grounds, and it was assumed
* q8 N+ V* A& }4 ethat this justification could be given independently of experience. But during the present
9 J- T; q" ~, ?7 i, J. v$ N8 n1 jcentury there has been a strong reaction from these methods and a growing acceptance of) z+ r2 n; V) A* H! a7 Q' j
the alternative view that the function of philosophy is to clarify rather than to extend the
' G" W3 u* o" f; Gcontent of human knowledge." x( |$ G& p  {$ A* R: f2 p, P" E
The theory that a priori thinking can never by itself establish a truth about the existing" |! \! N" n% D7 Q1 b$ S, d
world is known as Empiricism, since it always asserts that such propositions can be, J' ~! p$ c6 D, }  S8 Y
established only by empirical observation. The alternative theory that a priori thinking can
) O4 f) @8 R. s- yby itself establish truths about the existing world is known as Rationalism. And it is clear$ G" R. A$ W# A1 U5 V+ t
from the preceding discussion that Rationalism can be defended only if synthetic a priori) X: N& e' R' a; n* F6 F" w
propositions are possible. For if such propositions are not possible no proposition about the: q+ @6 ^8 S( V% z, }" j# d
existing world can be established a priori, and some form of Empiricism must therefore, s1 T2 q+ \0 p+ m( W4 n
be accepted- S2 c0 ~8 K$ ~' N+ g/ x1 D
9 u: p# p, i, ~2 \
Before the present century, when the doctrine has received wide support, the most celebrated4 B. c: }. i6 G  |) W" D
exponent of Empiricism was the Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776),) v) X: |+ c; [# ^6 L& ?; w8 w
now generally recognized to have been one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Hume
3 Z4 [; ]0 L! d/ I( P( sheld that the only propositions which are certainly true are those which describe A relations. u- [# Z3 x2 E$ V$ W/ `0 O0 h( k. L
of ideas', by which he meant analytic relationships in the sense defined above. Those
# V1 O0 g  e( U" `5 h0 Qwhich describe "matters of factQ, i.e. synthetic propositions, cannot be rationally justified,
% T1 I, e. y3 d% B& `although they can be accepted as true in so far as they are justified by direct observation.
, w5 t* p) z3 d8 XBut of course the great majority of synthetic propositions—in particular, the socalled1 K! c* w8 L/ b8 j: G. \
'laws' of science—go far beyond this and make assertions which cannot be justified by0 \2 h. O! T% F! F' u$ Q1 B
experience.+ F$ |4 D; p( n' U6 A+ ?1 ~% H
Thus Hume argued that the belief in the universal truth of scientific laws follows
% q9 w( H% l! x* orepeated observations of the sequences which they describe; but he denied that there is any
1 p+ z2 G) ~1 Rnecessity in these sequences, or even in the occurrence of the belief that they are universal
, J: q1 a5 R5 p! Sand necessary. If I infer that, because all observed samples of arsenic have proved to be
; R* M' ^# v/ k; G6 Z; ^$ Jpoisonous, therefore all samples whatsoever are poisonous, no logical justification of this
# u$ h$ j( O: W+ }. Z. H/ Zinference can, according to Hume, be given. It is just a fact that, following on the observation# ~0 @/ ~, m! Z* m. T. c! }
of numerous samples of arsenic which prove to be poisonous, everybody believes
0 p# b. |2 B; d3 uthat all samples whatsoever will prove to be poisonous. But there is, according to Hume,
3 t5 m. V' Q+ u3 J7 Bno rational justification for this belief; it just happens to occur following on experience of
5 T4 {' }' `. J  Q6 F; t. Athe effects of arsenic in a limited number of instances, and just happens to have proved a% j1 N1 P" S) P. }1 p
reliable guide in practice. There is no guarantee that it will prove to be true of all instances
7 s) U. D2 F9 ?/ J9 C6 Fwhatsoever. Thus there is nothing A reasonable' in the belief in the a priori sense.
$ A. m! o1 u5 p6 WHume reached the same sceptical conclusions about the general propositions of morality.
1 N" f8 P% \: {+ tHe thought it obvious that these propositions are synthetic, and argued that they cannot% r2 ?( a/ w" K2 S
therefore be a priori Such propositions as C Jealousy is evilA or F Lying is wrongJ are,
8 w/ c5 A0 S2 v8 v5 g! Jhe thought, obviously synthetic in that their predicates are not part of the meaning of the; Y/ I6 U5 Y/ [; T  _
subjects. And such propositions cannot be a priori, for no necessary connection can, in his
6 L" Q9 x6 m$ ?5 b. h+ J/ O* d5 Sview, be discerned between the subject and the predicate. Hence the basis for these moral; ]( Y( l# a5 Z6 L3 C: Z8 f. Y) a) F
generalizations must be the same as the basis for the generalizations of natural science—
8 j6 a! p2 i9 W6 Sthe observation of a limited number of instances. And this is not a rational ground for* f4 T: c! U/ \2 B$ h
asserting them.% B4 f5 G) k0 _/ t$ N+ ~  L& D' T3 g6 k
Having denied that moral generalizations have any logical necessity, Hume set himself6 ?' t2 X) O5 w% q! {
to analyse the empirical evidence on which they are based. He reached the conclusion that( C$ Z6 `+ w6 D* L6 Y: r, U8 l
the basis of such generalizations is a peculiar type of sentiment or feeling. When I say
& ?- p4 _7 K5 g' q7 a- F6 Y"Honesty is goodN I am, according to Hume, saying, in a rather specific sense of the word$ N. y8 `$ N+ w8 t& b5 M
'likeY, i Like honestyP. I am, in fact, describing not an inherent quality of honesty but a feeling
# K) \- j% Y. t/ h3 ^excited in me by the contemplation of honesty. This feeling Hume called the 'pleasing
+ L* `5 G3 b& b! l! I% q/ S- Csentiment of approbationU. He thought that moral disapproval in the same way expresses a
# R/ ~8 v& u9 J. lsentiment of disapprobation. Thus Hume concluded that there is nothing "rationalE or "logicalH
& R2 }! _8 x( B; V% w3 s- tin morality and that it is impossible to show, on a priori grounds, that moral propositions& b" C9 H' Z- O( y; p  t. D
are true or false. Their truth or falsity depends on the purely empirical question
9 l. }' _' }& _. P  @6 W! h( Fwhether they are or are not accurate descriptions of the feelings to which they relate.  B: E6 k. J0 k
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