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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。2 |8 P/ N0 [  \- H/ F
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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。
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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?; O) E4 d  {: L" I! c' z2 T: D

8 ~, \$ z  r5 J% E1 N  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。' ^# Z! t. J; H' A' N

6 h8 c& p! I* ]9 M8 p8 H, ]  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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9 D7 w% V5 h. Y. f6 U  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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& J: W8 v( G& V  Z5 h  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。) C: V( B- y# I

7 t" y- H' ]' o0 I  椒宫中的辛香味
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0 G" L7 I+ G" X( O* n$ y  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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  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。
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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。) n8 T$ ?. c6 Z) x+ Y8 T5 h) n
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  不一样的青花椒5 Z0 J$ r) ~& f  C' `

. K5 @- q) ^$ b4 s; U  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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. A7 }9 @9 n5 z( z; [1 W5 ^5 ]  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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) k2 h4 d% ^# ^9 h  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。! n0 t  s3 f9 O' H; l: X

/ @- A) ^: L: D& H  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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) w8 k) i- {1 k* S2 v6 W) |  麻能带来健康吗?" Z# `2 I4 a( Q2 f: l1 O

  l4 g4 @0 M- b6 A  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。  |+ D! ?8 p# A' r+ |0 f( d9 ]) C

  f( ~  T; N# Y# f2 u  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。9 y, s* j0 [1 W# K) `. ]6 ]8 g
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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。, V/ |9 h4 l' Z/ D) {9 e' x
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  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。
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" c: D, P7 ^3 U; z" y  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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+ z' O0 [) ?& E( X  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。
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8 P  K4 N( _& {1 Z% W( Q  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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' k1 o0 A8 {6 V& ]1 }3 q  小贴士
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  如何识别劣质麻椒?! \" u; D" C7 @8 W
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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。/ x9 H* ?  e# p* j- i
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  花椒也是现磨的好
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/ s/ L7 }: T$ B- W' z  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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4 y/ M0 F  O% B& n& G  我们快乐&精神食粮' s: P* x, y6 f6 u$ j

- _$ F9 d; p3 P8 \1 E, h  为生活寻找原生态食材

AN INTRODUCTION TO! h1 D9 b; P& q8 b. D- B
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
+ W* Y% H" h; [- Z0 Y. Zby
% X+ z% M% e7 D- ~% D2 fA.R.M.MURRAY, M.A., PH.D.
% p+ ]5 v& {2 ~  vExtension Lecturer in Social Philosophy
( Q* ~4 c' t! {, |6 r$ hin the University of London
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CONTENTS
! b& m/ a3 N/ aPAGE
2 m( E( {* G- n/ |# \& _PREFACE vi& d, O( o8 k6 a& y$ X
I THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 1
5 O6 B7 n# o' G" T  NII THE POLITICAL THEORIES OF THE SOPHISTS 17) s" `) S1 x+ o9 \
III PLATO'S THEORY OF THE IDEAL STATE 24& p" R/ v9 Y$ G. B2 Z
IV ARISTOTLE'S THEORY OF THE BEST POSSIBLE STATE 37
$ t' k7 t$ q( I# a) jV POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY BETWEEN ARISTOTLE AND/ |3 B3 R7 _% i8 O# _0 [
MACHIAVELLI 47  ?' B5 e0 u8 J( w
VI MACHIAVELLI ON THE SCIENCE OF GOVERNMENT 54( p1 W, W: |3 F+ l+ T# u3 j
VII HOBBES'S THEORY OF THE RATIONAL STATE 61
0 I9 O/ }' P, ]5 f3 l# w. dVIII LOCKE'S THEORY OF THE MORAL STATE 73' ?' S, u. V- E1 t! I+ f
IX ROUSSEAU'S THEORY OF THE GENERAL WILL 828 x8 r1 U# f! K$ z0 e: f  P; Z& Q. i
X HUME AND BURKE ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF
( Q+ |: o6 r) w9 m, @$ \3 ~1 d- w0 @CONSERVATISM 92/ J7 v5 \4 t( g) G* d
XI HEGEL'S IDEALIST THEORY OF THE STATE 100# \' V( x+ r  I; f3 H
XII THE UTILITARIAN THEORIES OF BENTHAM AND MILL 109% F" }$ h# I: Y' v5 k4 `. O
XIII MARXISM, COMMUNISM AND SOCIALISM 123
4 f: P$ e" x# ]6 F7 v7 nXIV POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICS 1408 {% f% V% O; S! _0 s- U
XV THE JUSTIFICATION OF GOVERNMENT 151! k. p2 a1 J/ s/ Y7 |; j) X; M
INDEX 161' [) A8 S$ x6 h0 `

8 O+ D' }, L0 F% J. jCHAPTER I/ K5 M4 z6 r7 p  V) o  M
The Nature and Scope of Political Philosophy
( C/ m# S$ I+ y. DUntil the beginning of the present century philosophy was generally regarded as a source& \# z2 m4 @# p
of knowledge which transcended, both in scope and certainty, the discoveries of natural' M) V! e$ A9 ]" i+ w6 K
science. Science, it was agreed, marked an advance on the uncritical and often unrelated
# P, ^2 m8 s6 V1 sbeliefs of ordinary life, yet it was itself based on the observations of the senses and consisted8 ]+ q7 Q+ P2 t
of the uncertain generalizations based upon them; whereas philosophy was assumed" X. P/ P) l7 J* I
to answer questions about such subjects as the existence of God, the nature of knowledge,
) Z2 O+ D+ Y* }/ Rand the authority of the moral law upon which sense-experience, from its very nature, could$ S, n* L) C8 _2 |
throw no light. On such subjects, it was believed, reason was alone competent to pronounce
' u' d- `: K, sand, when it did so, its conclusions were characterized by a logical and universal certainty
& p7 K4 N( @3 Owhich the generalizations of natural science could never claim.
% R0 h$ E" z' @" t% P3 C3 gThat philosophical knowledge is certain and indubitable is a claim which, in a broad
) p  A, K& \  D/ ?sense, all philosophers have made, or at least implied; and if a short and simple definition! ]8 v! M, J" m2 w( \2 L
of philosophy were sought the title of the late Professor Dewey 冯 GirTord Lectures—The8 e* ?0 ~# K/ i% K# Y1 M
Quest for Certainty'—might serve as a starting point at least For all philosophers have
; l& ^6 u0 Q* Q1 N( y' dclaimed, or at least implied, that philosophical knowledge not only is, but must be, true.; ~7 o! F$ g! p0 p0 X
But this general agreement has not prevented fundamental differences of opinion regarding
% |9 l3 ~/ \( c! sthe nature and scope of such knowledge; and since these differences are reflected in the5 ^, M( M; v. N  c% C, p; \) r1 I
application of philosophy to the problems of political theory it is important to be aware,
. G; k/ ]) \. ~: m( b# V& R2 Vhowever generally, of their nature.
6 b+ \, e  k4 E; T3 pThe different conceptions of philosophy ultimately depend upon different conceptions; K2 I) b6 {6 o5 L( j" w: b# {
of the nature of indubitable knowledge. The propositions of mathematics are usually cited
  ~: B0 Y+ J( R* y5 S1 f' n' c6 las typical illustrations of such knowledge. For example, the proposition "Two plus two4 ]* V& M& ]5 Q0 W; P
equals four1 is said to be necessarily and universally true on the ground that, once we have  X( x  g4 x, R3 j" n
grasped its meaning, we recognize that it must be necessarily and universally true, and5 o- ]5 R. ^* B' ~- H
because further instances of its truth do not increase our certainty that it must always be: d$ `6 C3 m. m  [
true. Its falsity, in other words, is inconceivable. On the other hand, there are numerous
& i# X8 T: ~! ?5 `4 cpropositions of which the falsity is perfectly conceivable. It may be true that The cat is* E% m4 x' Y- V' E$ p* I" H
blackL or that "Poliomyelitis is caused by a vims', but these propositions are not necessarily
* V  F0 Y8 p+ R& y  Ttrue. On the contrary, their falsity is perfectly conceivable, even if observation appears to
! I5 m2 g9 A6 t; ]6 r8 i" ^& Q# qconfirm their truth.( F* d) {; S. ~/ u5 j
Analytic and Synthetic Propositions' `, ?' U3 b9 c! ^% H
The distinction just illustrated is variously referred to as the distinction between rational0 R+ s6 t$ v! G* q
and empirical knowledge, or between a priori and a posteriori knowledge, or between: R7 X) f, q: P) V! H
truths of reason and truths of fact And it is generally true to say that all philosophers have" [% y' S. ?* e+ n, t4 H" X; m2 D
claimed, or at least implied, that their theories are rational and a priori. Where they have
+ w- J+ s# Q8 @- j" ]differed is in their view of the scope of such knowledge. And the main difference has been
* p) l. A- y8 m4 g8 _  N  F' gthat some have held that rational knowledge is always analytic, while others have held that
. x2 ~6 L: V4 {3 C; |) uit is sometimes synthetic.
2 K/ U% ]& r; j0 X. A% s7 I( h1 i( c1 Q0 p  u, `
The difference between analytic and synthetic propositions was defined by the German2 s3 Y  a( x! ~9 J. ^" Z4 N
philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) as follows: Analytic propositions, he said, 'add
7 `' X2 F& ?& r" n9 E/ mnothing through the predicate to the concept of the subject, but merely break it up into those
1 |6 t# Z. @3 I  Pconstituent concepts that have all along been thought in it, although confusedly', while synthetic
" m2 v, f+ L) M8 sjudgments 'add to the concept of the subject a predicate which has not been in any
2 }/ Q" ^8 L4 j$ ~wise thought in it, and which no analysis could possibly extract from it'.1 The difference is,( N  o  e* z, k+ [# {% ]0 q0 a
in short, that the predicate in an analytic proposition is contained within the meaning of the7 y4 ^' Q+ N! L9 k$ W+ k- |
subject, while in a synthetic proposition the predicate is not contained within the meaning' s% ]: I& {2 J5 M6 z
of the subject but adds something related to it. Kant illustrated the difference by the two& X  q! h$ N# j: k* t
propositions 'All bodies are extended' and 'All bodies are heavy'. The former, he thought,
1 i+ q5 U9 x$ b, D. I' dis analytic, because the concept of 'extension' is part of the meaning of 'body', while the
; o- h7 z1 }) a" E% Ilatter is synthetic because the concept of 'heaviness' is not part of the meaning of 'body',
- `) Y' Q9 y: Y! T  @1 ibut only a quality which it acquires when it is placed in a gravitational field.
$ j, M$ ]* w- c1 j* LKant's definition drew attention to an important difference between analytic and synthetic: c7 @8 n/ o( w3 v: W0 f
propositions, although not all analytic propositions naturally fall into the simple subject-. M8 x, e2 y& H$ K6 k' W# Y1 D8 a. I
predicate form which his examples illustrate. The essential characteristic of an analytic
$ Q* S. A, I9 c2 a6 g- zproposition is that it defines the meaning, or part of the meaning, of its subject and does3 }" F* I: |% h
not describe unessential features which may, or may not, belong to it A cube of iron has a
5 Z2 {7 V( c4 ^certain weight at sea level, a smaller weight at the top of a high mountain, and no weight at
1 [' ~/ ]- s6 S) Call at a certain point between the earth and the moon; but these differences are not essential, M& z0 L6 h. [  N
elements in the meaning of the description 'cube of iron'. It is clear, on the other hand,
- o5 \, v4 L+ ^) Cthat if the cube of iron had no extension it would not be a cube of iron, since extension is& G, ]3 R: _3 t6 a( @& ^
an essential part of the meaning of the phrase 'cube of iron'. In other words, to deny an
1 k9 |! ?& S1 B$ E/ r& S- Yanalytic proposition is self-contradictory since that is simultaneously asserting and denying
' Y6 D( @4 j/ W' cthe same thing. It is, to borrow Bertrand Russell's example, like saying 'A bald man is
, C0 ]5 j  z$ e& c' B0 J, W/ Lnot bald'.1' F3 s+ i9 M9 s5 `9 P' U7 }
Modern philosophers have devoted much attention to the study of analytic propositions,( j$ _5 Z  c  e7 @
and many would agree with Professor Ayer that 'a proposition is analytic when its validity) E7 s+ `+ a: ^) }1 i  o
depends solely on the definitions of the symbols it contains',2 and that this is so because
3 s8 g1 ^* h$ s' k( Eanalytic propositions 'do not make any assertion about the empirical world They simply
0 V& O1 U% }4 G( t9 u' Y/ H9 h" Krecord our determination to use words in a certain fashion.'3 They are, in other words, tautologies;) V) b4 N6 V" F7 w. {
and the reason why we think it worth while to assert them and sometimes, as in9 |3 X/ Y9 P9 l! K% I( q
mathematics, to draw elaborate deductions from them, is that our reason is too limited to! R: M; F( a0 |2 [  t
recognize their full significance without going through these complex verbal processes./ ?* s8 _' W9 B" d. K) l
These considerations may appear to be extremely abstract and their connection with0 e) ]5 X1 I, _
what is commonly understood as 'political philosophy' far from obvious; but in fact this
8 W+ D' V0 Q6 mconnection is both simple and fundamental. For philosophy is the 'quest for certainty', and" K6 S/ c; K2 Q6 b
if certainty is a characteristic of propositions, then an inquiry into the nature and scope of4 z' t. u. }+ ?! A6 V2 j
1 Critique of Pure Reason, Second Edition, Introduction.
0 _! B6 c( l" ?9 R" a0 q) v% B1 The Problems of Philosophy, p. 129.' W9 _0 W- n  P- C8 D, j
2 Language, Truth, and Logic, Second Edition, p. 78.; M( z6 P# Y3 `, c' Z
J op. cit, p. 84.
) R2 a& l. f. q! O
8 l1 A% E6 F! A: y# c) tcertain, i.e. a priori, propositions must be the essential task of all philosophy. If, in other) @' o& l3 I9 e9 ?  E- m; @
words, the general object of philosophy is to discover the nature and implications of rational
3 b5 r+ p+ |6 }$ q. U& ~thinking, then an enquiry into the nature of the propositions by which rational thinking
! v6 g# o0 g! N5 r  y/ G' L8 K9 t& Pis expressed is necessarily one of the most important tasks of philosophy so understood
4 |5 p! g8 b% h8 d' \All philosophers who have recognized the distinction between analytic and synthetic5 \4 {# N1 r, {/ o  M8 \
propositions have agreed that analytic propositions are necessary and a priori. Controversy
& \' l( x1 v6 s1 H1 f# qhas centred on the question whether synthetic propositions may also sometimes be a priori.' H0 t) c2 h0 C; ]- n" q8 k
And the different answers given to this question have determined very different conceptions
2 k8 F5 k5 L5 ^9 S6 J! B; ?1 Sof the scope and purpose of philosophy. For if the propositions of philosophy must
- `( w8 ?( f$ Z& h% o4 G2 H3 kalways be a priori, and a priori propositions must always be analytic, it follows that the
- N' n8 h# {2 J* qpropositions of philosophy must always be analytic.. w9 k6 R2 ]( q. _  ?# E9 h
Now one important class of proposition which is never analytic is the class of existential
; g, c; z2 J' ?; c# \4 {# y+ vpropositions, i.e. propositions asserting something of the real world. While it is necessarily
# s4 s* n  A) x5 E% V# jtrue that 2 plus 2 equals 4, it is not necessarily true that there are four distinguishable1 _! u- \5 d# @5 U# d, s8 l' D
objects in the real world. For example, if I have £2 in one pocket and £2 in another, it necessarily
* U- O7 ?. g$ H5 e1 Ifollows that I have £4. in both pockets, but it is for empirical observation to ascertain/ x* H; b' E+ Q: P/ S. [
whether in fact I have £2 in one pocket and £2 in another pocket This simple example illustrates
& z' ?- }, v* [: {$ c. B/ ythe important principle that analytic propositions apply only in a hypothetical sense* _" J8 u# I7 I
to the real world. No analytic proposition of the form XA is BN can be asserted categorically" [2 r3 H) J/ W
of the real world. It can only be asserted in the hypothetical form 'If X (some existing% J$ W& {7 Z  k- a; X4 E- V- \* w, u
thing) is A then it must be B.' But the proposition asserting that X is in fact A is synthetic
1 M+ V4 n0 s3 l* h# q  R# ?and cannot be necessarily true unless synthetic propositions can be a priori
4 X1 K0 s% ]0 Q7 W+ a* t7 B- |Thus if a priori propositions are always analytic, philosophy will be unable to demonstrate
: m1 b/ s1 q3 dthe truth of any proposition about the existing world except in so far as it is logically
# B. ^& e- i% }. n; Zimplied by an existential proposition whose truth has been established (if it can be established)
# t; ^7 N- S% xby empirical observation. The function of philosophy, in other words, will be to
9 s) A  F2 p, E" Wexamine the implications of propositions and not to demonstrate their truth.
7 O/ N1 T1 z3 Y1 [3 H5 j7 gAs already mentioned, however, it was widely believed until some fifty years ago that! t, b$ ~$ l1 l* O& M! I
philosophy could establish facts about the existing world quite independently of experience.0 }5 u& h! ]) T. h5 |4 B- \
Philosophy was, indeed, often looked to for a rational justification of beliefs, such
& k3 P4 r) d  I& z4 [as religious or moral beliefs, already held on non-rational grounds, and it was assumed
6 A1 D9 [: J- g/ @% K. X- tthat this justification could be given independently of experience. But during the present
, m  h( l. q. O! |8 ?% e, |century there has been a strong reaction from these methods and a growing acceptance of
! e: C0 l" H9 \- v' sthe alternative view that the function of philosophy is to clarify rather than to extend the
. O# y+ {* m6 h, s% C: o9 N9 V2 D2 _content of human knowledge.
' L. M  y9 W, |0 `3 ^2 dThe theory that a priori thinking can never by itself establish a truth about the existing
, ~  e6 A+ K* V8 [$ O. D7 vworld is known as Empiricism, since it always asserts that such propositions can be
6 j1 P0 n, Q6 s) z. c0 vestablished only by empirical observation. The alternative theory that a priori thinking can+ a  O" Z: Y0 e7 P9 `
by itself establish truths about the existing world is known as Rationalism. And it is clear" I) `  W7 @+ H( t8 h% o' k& W1 n
from the preceding discussion that Rationalism can be defended only if synthetic a priori
2 |! w  E& D" I; n3 E0 _propositions are possible. For if such propositions are not possible no proposition about the
  m, j( B/ u1 C& dexisting world can be established a priori, and some form of Empiricism must therefore% H  a+ w1 P1 K% j" ?% A
be accepted: Q" ]: w1 z; B& [
" \1 h. K: L5 l3 |6 e
Before the present century, when the doctrine has received wide support, the most celebrated
' C# E! q. w- f. v0 K: W$ sexponent of Empiricism was the Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776),0 T8 d# o% u8 f
now generally recognized to have been one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Hume
  B- e, O7 s+ y- }  @held that the only propositions which are certainly true are those which describe A relations
: `/ L3 m( q' C( s/ Y  V  pof ideas', by which he meant analytic relationships in the sense defined above. Those
3 w7 ~# @6 W8 L* ^; ywhich describe "matters of factQ, i.e. synthetic propositions, cannot be rationally justified,, g5 ~* Z! N7 a0 F
although they can be accepted as true in so far as they are justified by direct observation.% |& d) R& N1 X/ v
But of course the great majority of synthetic propositions—in particular, the socalled# a$ Q: c& A3 t, O0 D1 ?: `( @' j
'laws' of science—go far beyond this and make assertions which cannot be justified by
! u  Q/ r/ j. ?3 Q3 |3 lexperience.9 ]! A4 J1 B/ q# m& u3 s7 n
Thus Hume argued that the belief in the universal truth of scientific laws follows* S) T  z' j. y  n2 s) h
repeated observations of the sequences which they describe; but he denied that there is any
, G& n( T/ g+ cnecessity in these sequences, or even in the occurrence of the belief that they are universal
% `4 d# a0 }- Iand necessary. If I infer that, because all observed samples of arsenic have proved to be# ~* F2 v- m1 t8 E( V, z, N
poisonous, therefore all samples whatsoever are poisonous, no logical justification of this
% \/ T! Q6 a+ p% u- Uinference can, according to Hume, be given. It is just a fact that, following on the observation+ \, w: k5 d1 e) X% K' S
of numerous samples of arsenic which prove to be poisonous, everybody believes0 L" S6 Z" K4 n: F+ {5 @/ C
that all samples whatsoever will prove to be poisonous. But there is, according to Hume,
0 e3 d" B' b( L8 L; Dno rational justification for this belief; it just happens to occur following on experience of  D3 R% Y( W" U: O: I( ?6 `4 P2 N
the effects of arsenic in a limited number of instances, and just happens to have proved a  `; L* x  J( O9 N( H; k
reliable guide in practice. There is no guarantee that it will prove to be true of all instances2 _: R; y" ~5 n5 R* g% p- e( P5 }0 |
whatsoever. Thus there is nothing A reasonable' in the belief in the a priori sense.5 B; H* d; B3 V/ c1 A
Hume reached the same sceptical conclusions about the general propositions of morality.6 Z/ Y3 f! }4 T; W  f
He thought it obvious that these propositions are synthetic, and argued that they cannot
; g  _- g# {, W: `2 |* itherefore be a priori Such propositions as C Jealousy is evilA or F Lying is wrongJ are,% L# G6 ~& x, A: o6 t4 i1 i6 b
he thought, obviously synthetic in that their predicates are not part of the meaning of the7 X" w4 U; z- o+ E4 s3 G  `
subjects. And such propositions cannot be a priori, for no necessary connection can, in his
' X0 E5 L0 w" A+ I2 t1 s$ oview, be discerned between the subject and the predicate. Hence the basis for these moral
/ j9 M; L( s5 r; T8 A, J4 t3 @generalizations must be the same as the basis for the generalizations of natural science—% i: y; g% H2 Q* @3 y& |
the observation of a limited number of instances. And this is not a rational ground for
6 Q7 {" {) D$ B* oasserting them.& B* l8 Z1 v4 p- F# l+ u, q$ Z) N
Having denied that moral generalizations have any logical necessity, Hume set himself' J% S* q# V& _+ ^5 g2 `/ O( \
to analyse the empirical evidence on which they are based. He reached the conclusion that
* L# ~% a% C: S; Zthe basis of such generalizations is a peculiar type of sentiment or feeling. When I say1 Y( j+ E5 h/ f: _7 }
"Honesty is goodN I am, according to Hume, saying, in a rather specific sense of the word% `$ c9 ~  ]. v) z; |  [/ c$ L0 @  ]/ Z; H
'likeY, i Like honestyP. I am, in fact, describing not an inherent quality of honesty but a feeling7 D+ d! T" ]( `1 ~
excited in me by the contemplation of honesty. This feeling Hume called the 'pleasing& i$ y" u9 e- E7 {& @1 X/ H* p
sentiment of approbationU. He thought that moral disapproval in the same way expresses a. x2 C  P9 Q# R4 [: G
sentiment of disapprobation. Thus Hume concluded that there is nothing "rationalE or "logicalH4 v2 `3 U& Z8 K" S9 [8 q; T
in morality and that it is impossible to show, on a priori grounds, that moral propositions2 G1 X4 q* i3 J" z% d9 }
are true or false. Their truth or falsity depends on the purely empirical question
1 [, G/ ^" g. O" ewhether they are or are not accurate descriptions of the feelings to which they relate.* M0 ]; t8 }/ S( a! g8 |
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