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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。
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& y/ o0 C& j3 p. K+ h+ A* G. f1 ?5 C  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?
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) X4 _5 H+ Y& s  从神的食物开始
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7 B8 T- Y! D& f: c: l9 m  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。; ^" O" j$ L' [! k& K& p$ P
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  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。% C6 ?& [, O* {( S& |' Y! x( o8 y4 C

# h" G. E, t! g  _0 h  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。" t$ M) r* v+ T+ s! h- X% _
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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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2 B# P; j% U4 Z8 M8 y  椒宫中的辛香味7 Q4 s% n4 K! M" A! e7 o1 g0 U

8 |6 ^- X( @) h  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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; E! a5 Y% _5 E, A2 j" B" j  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。7 f; y: N. G) n0 S" Z. S0 U

; Y: F9 J  J- u+ w4 i7 N  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。0 E' m/ T2 H4 ~

! M; W9 t9 h6 ~* L/ N9 `! B4 Q  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。: w. o( K! f  l! o

1 j: i& y4 h5 L  不一样的青花椒
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  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。- u. b0 c; u: n8 t

4 q8 s1 [+ Q+ e+ `- g" B' ?  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。4 H4 _. t5 E4 \9 |; ]$ e4 a- t

# E: y2 r& M6 |' \, l  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。- S2 W: y+ J" z3 R+ i
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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。1 c# t  V  n  ?

: K8 O7 e4 N, g  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。7 ]) ?7 i8 x, d: N0 l* f! v  E4 \
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  麻能带来健康吗?
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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。2 d1 U1 ]' r# N/ I* B, W

2 Q+ R0 D5 b6 D( ?  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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2 \) `5 o9 D9 H% d  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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5 {4 G1 r0 v. R0 n4 d& N  牙膏里的花椒  y5 B9 @4 j" j1 u- p

. x, n# s4 C. k% S: ^3 a& J  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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* T2 h- E/ |9 S7 L  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”。! {# P/ v" m8 J
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  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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. X1 a4 q' L8 T3 b9 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。
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  h) K* Y. [6 }' p$ ^  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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5 D3 r2 ]- l+ }" f  小贴士( L. v! g- Q. X/ K  U$ X; W) o1 \' i1 d0 N
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  如何识别劣质麻椒?( h# e, I7 j4 A" _" A# s. ^

% E- \& g3 |5 L/ H/ E  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* G1 M* d- C" `  }! T4 G

$ [, @) G% t: w- d6 a  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。$ P/ {! f/ U: Z  |
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  手植记
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  我们快乐&精神食粮) `: T3 E1 D  X- A6 l7 x
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  为生活寻找原生态食材

AN INTRODUCTION TO6 K/ G# @' L; v( {; R( }% S5 l/ {5 a7 I. G
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: }) r3 x6 U6 |
by' p! U( Y2 b: ^! |2 q  G
A.R.M.MURRAY, M.A., PH.D.7 L4 _2 I: U+ ~  f7 l
Extension Lecturer in Social Philosophy' V# d% h; O, Q' h! {* J
in the University of London
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: }. [! b- n& XCONTENTS
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PREFACE vi. u* L+ s# X1 M' s% u
I THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 1
& [" g( l% _+ uII THE POLITICAL THEORIES OF THE SOPHISTS 177 @% @8 P! K. q4 `0 w- J
III PLATO'S THEORY OF THE IDEAL STATE 24
+ {7 }/ t- p8 qIV ARISTOTLE'S THEORY OF THE BEST POSSIBLE STATE 37
+ ?$ y. Z" r, o6 W, X. a) OV POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY BETWEEN ARISTOTLE AND. p  T9 o, F5 v* ?: }
MACHIAVELLI 475 X6 ]8 v0 }, z8 ~* W+ M: O% n+ A9 ^
VI MACHIAVELLI ON THE SCIENCE OF GOVERNMENT 54
( X: N% C1 z: j* CVII HOBBES'S THEORY OF THE RATIONAL STATE 61
% ~9 f( {0 |2 V, m* o. d0 R  C9 yVIII LOCKE'S THEORY OF THE MORAL STATE 73
2 i! Y1 Y7 [0 [! w- ^IX ROUSSEAU'S THEORY OF THE GENERAL WILL 82& @- f5 X* Z7 ?7 Q
X HUME AND BURKE ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF/ }" }6 C* ~- K1 a8 d2 G. g9 s5 z
CONSERVATISM 92
+ |6 O- ~# ^& e2 f% h9 QXI HEGEL'S IDEALIST THEORY OF THE STATE 100
3 m3 }: ?$ @0 u& ~  Q, h# s/ }XII THE UTILITARIAN THEORIES OF BENTHAM AND MILL 109
7 n# p: a5 f4 E. @' o9 M9 x0 D, YXIII MARXISM, COMMUNISM AND SOCIALISM 123
5 D  b4 v( @9 T1 N! ^, T3 uXIV POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICS 140
. a6 _' v# o4 L% t/ C' lXV THE JUSTIFICATION OF GOVERNMENT 151, v. @# v+ H0 o4 D* W5 O1 ]
INDEX 161
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CHAPTER I
& z( F0 b0 U, h4 oThe Nature and Scope of Political Philosophy0 e+ K, l: L- e! x. G* M/ T
Until the beginning of the present century philosophy was generally regarded as a source
/ t) K9 E# a/ J# ?" b2 eof knowledge which transcended, both in scope and certainty, the discoveries of natural
/ _$ o: K7 a) _science. Science, it was agreed, marked an advance on the uncritical and often unrelated/ x( H$ Z* c4 j1 v
beliefs of ordinary life, yet it was itself based on the observations of the senses and consisted
' T4 {$ O" N$ C6 y' k( }of the uncertain generalizations based upon them; whereas philosophy was assumed- ?9 h/ J" v5 K- y4 }
to answer questions about such subjects as the existence of God, the nature of knowledge,
% ?- [  ^4 u2 A) |and the authority of the moral law upon which sense-experience, from its very nature, could
& \+ Y1 ?$ T7 m# t  J. ~- D4 athrow no light. On such subjects, it was believed, reason was alone competent to pronounce- b+ a% ~3 A7 N5 j. q
and, when it did so, its conclusions were characterized by a logical and universal certainty0 x: s, D8 [% W
which the generalizations of natural science could never claim.# a: N4 Q5 Z) @1 ^  m0 h
That philosophical knowledge is certain and indubitable is a claim which, in a broad
8 \2 ^- V/ d: W; W3 B  u) ysense, all philosophers have made, or at least implied; and if a short and simple definition
  W) a7 ?$ H. j# u; V7 K- o% cof philosophy were sought the title of the late Professor Dewey 冯 GirTord Lectures—The
( _6 Y0 |9 B  q5 M5 j/ XQuest for Certainty'—might serve as a starting point at least For all philosophers have* a3 p; ]: z2 r. c
claimed, or at least implied, that philosophical knowledge not only is, but must be, true.1 F2 p! Z7 y  _' ^8 H5 {" e' V
But this general agreement has not prevented fundamental differences of opinion regarding$ \8 z) z( q/ S, B/ t& r# w# a
the nature and scope of such knowledge; and since these differences are reflected in the/ q/ [9 D9 X3 |# _7 f
application of philosophy to the problems of political theory it is important to be aware,
: B& ^" ]2 j; t; ?* ehowever generally, of their nature.$ E! ^; X0 Q5 ~' n. U' B  T
The different conceptions of philosophy ultimately depend upon different conceptions
4 i8 P$ X$ a+ p- q4 y  \" A4 ^of the nature of indubitable knowledge. The propositions of mathematics are usually cited1 n+ s  L4 K+ \* U2 o- T
as typical illustrations of such knowledge. For example, the proposition "Two plus two
: T% D* a5 ?$ ]% L) mequals four1 is said to be necessarily and universally true on the ground that, once we have
# D0 q( j+ f8 ^) k( N# `grasped its meaning, we recognize that it must be necessarily and universally true, and
2 I, n4 }" p' U  bbecause further instances of its truth do not increase our certainty that it must always be+ V6 `% u6 B4 b* ^8 o" r% d+ w
true. Its falsity, in other words, is inconceivable. On the other hand, there are numerous) X$ W5 b& ^( ]. M" b% F
propositions of which the falsity is perfectly conceivable. It may be true that The cat is
1 k0 ?8 w# J; i; @+ o2 zblackL or that "Poliomyelitis is caused by a vims', but these propositions are not necessarily
3 e" l* u: E5 [( y1 a2 I& jtrue. On the contrary, their falsity is perfectly conceivable, even if observation appears to
$ L0 z( d- C( iconfirm their truth.4 y" l. a- ?) K- S! ~
Analytic and Synthetic Propositions+ w9 l7 R& _% n$ @+ B6 o
The distinction just illustrated is variously referred to as the distinction between rational
- F, U) Y9 W1 m0 H8 qand empirical knowledge, or between a priori and a posteriori knowledge, or between6 G7 f4 z" U0 x
truths of reason and truths of fact And it is generally true to say that all philosophers have
2 v$ h$ {& k( E3 Y3 d" ^claimed, or at least implied, that their theories are rational and a priori. Where they have
4 n! L/ Z/ z) o* r2 a+ ]7 Q/ qdiffered is in their view of the scope of such knowledge. And the main difference has been# j: A; N; J- x/ R
that some have held that rational knowledge is always analytic, while others have held that6 p  u5 A) t  j5 p! j' v+ y
it is sometimes synthetic., j6 L/ G, A6 q0 i+ \( I

; O5 _, w. s. h/ }The difference between analytic and synthetic propositions was defined by the German
4 t  t) r9 }/ @philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) as follows: Analytic propositions, he said, 'add
% Y5 h( G  x& D; c7 ~nothing through the predicate to the concept of the subject, but merely break it up into those
4 Q) v& |3 F4 F+ y* Wconstituent concepts that have all along been thought in it, although confusedly', while synthetic6 b6 j  l5 g! O( H$ g
judgments 'add to the concept of the subject a predicate which has not been in any* p! k' u3 C$ ]: J/ N- @# J' p# z
wise thought in it, and which no analysis could possibly extract from it'.1 The difference is,1 V5 f: d5 ?# a+ C5 ?) i" E7 A
in short, that the predicate in an analytic proposition is contained within the meaning of the' k0 f6 }: N" O
subject, while in a synthetic proposition the predicate is not contained within the meaning% i9 s$ u. q* m- W* r; z
of the subject but adds something related to it. Kant illustrated the difference by the two1 @2 a9 g0 F0 ?! f
propositions 'All bodies are extended' and 'All bodies are heavy'. The former, he thought,  {6 q% f8 E  b
is analytic, because the concept of 'extension' is part of the meaning of 'body', while the& P8 e8 H! y& b5 l
latter is synthetic because the concept of 'heaviness' is not part of the meaning of 'body',
( ]& i  @/ ?# g. ?but only a quality which it acquires when it is placed in a gravitational field.
- u' y4 ?0 G! e' }Kant's definition drew attention to an important difference between analytic and synthetic
) J! x3 a) E$ o, n0 fpropositions, although not all analytic propositions naturally fall into the simple subject-
; `; O" ]* Q2 A  W& [1 y4 upredicate form which his examples illustrate. The essential characteristic of an analytic
* J! M3 t; p% K; kproposition is that it defines the meaning, or part of the meaning, of its subject and does
2 l5 Z) M, v9 E4 z5 Hnot describe unessential features which may, or may not, belong to it A cube of iron has a
+ J% `: x0 k% U: M9 g% N9 T( D# jcertain weight at sea level, a smaller weight at the top of a high mountain, and no weight at
! J& t: p) i# N" {; @all at a certain point between the earth and the moon; but these differences are not essential8 m! [" A2 Z$ D' [" v. t
elements in the meaning of the description 'cube of iron'. It is clear, on the other hand,8 e6 n3 K8 N3 w% D0 ?5 F* t
that if the cube of iron had no extension it would not be a cube of iron, since extension is
# t& P( x7 j5 X5 Can essential part of the meaning of the phrase 'cube of iron'. In other words, to deny an- l4 m( H" `1 b$ E0 ]( s- ^' H
analytic proposition is self-contradictory since that is simultaneously asserting and denying" M- ]9 x: H1 V; G+ ~
the same thing. It is, to borrow Bertrand Russell's example, like saying 'A bald man is$ B) g# f& p5 x0 b( D1 X
not bald'.15 g: p: L. f" H+ x
Modern philosophers have devoted much attention to the study of analytic propositions,5 C. ^6 \+ z- m9 I
and many would agree with Professor Ayer that 'a proposition is analytic when its validity- |9 D& k1 W8 Z& \3 |( X9 H! i
depends solely on the definitions of the symbols it contains',2 and that this is so because
, `9 P& e. Z. r: X# q; [3 K6 X8 p3 Manalytic propositions 'do not make any assertion about the empirical world They simply
$ D' ?3 a8 B; t& N+ _* o) Hrecord our determination to use words in a certain fashion.'3 They are, in other words, tautologies;- w. o" Z  ^9 F7 j
and the reason why we think it worth while to assert them and sometimes, as in. E) T/ m/ Y( m# Y+ n6 M3 F/ J7 V0 a
mathematics, to draw elaborate deductions from them, is that our reason is too limited to" S6 |  }4 W% n: O7 ]
recognize their full significance without going through these complex verbal processes.
, B7 {- e. H5 Q- bThese considerations may appear to be extremely abstract and their connection with5 g: [1 \# k2 w+ ^
what is commonly understood as 'political philosophy' far from obvious; but in fact this
6 ]0 ~+ ]; T; ]2 O0 a' G& Y  ~connection is both simple and fundamental. For philosophy is the 'quest for certainty', and
6 O& W3 G0 x, b" F# u8 Kif certainty is a characteristic of propositions, then an inquiry into the nature and scope of, @* U6 O) N9 _7 z' ]) g4 w& D
1 Critique of Pure Reason, Second Edition, Introduction.& y: h( A1 o" K2 n6 y; g
1 The Problems of Philosophy, p. 129.
5 ^  j% D' F" ?8 `; B2 Language, Truth, and Logic, Second Edition, p. 78.4 T& K8 ?' E& Q* _) J; X
J op. cit, p. 84.
1 `- q  q; l$ n8 `) b# `( h+ _# A5 C& \! t* I' q8 @' T
certain, i.e. a priori, propositions must be the essential task of all philosophy. If, in other
2 a/ d9 w! l$ a4 m" qwords, the general object of philosophy is to discover the nature and implications of rational2 X$ m3 j$ D; ~* P2 G9 G5 p
thinking, then an enquiry into the nature of the propositions by which rational thinking
1 e8 K  t/ H3 Lis expressed is necessarily one of the most important tasks of philosophy so understood
) N3 _5 ?+ ?7 j2 r& Y0 a* EAll philosophers who have recognized the distinction between analytic and synthetic
4 c2 r: ], p& E; G* h0 W, q! Hpropositions have agreed that analytic propositions are necessary and a priori. Controversy+ j: g  `3 |; ~" f% h% f( L! Q
has centred on the question whether synthetic propositions may also sometimes be a priori.9 r$ Z+ w& o% Z  f+ C( f4 I
And the different answers given to this question have determined very different conceptions  D0 l) `+ R" c
of the scope and purpose of philosophy. For if the propositions of philosophy must
! E% k% e% `& ^' qalways be a priori, and a priori propositions must always be analytic, it follows that the
# [9 L( @- {4 Tpropositions of philosophy must always be analytic./ o1 p. g9 V6 p  f% B3 Z' g
Now one important class of proposition which is never analytic is the class of existential  `4 Y0 ^  Z8 }% a: Z( G8 [4 t1 u
propositions, i.e. propositions asserting something of the real world. While it is necessarily
8 a; f5 v/ q4 c- m' a8 m  |true that 2 plus 2 equals 4, it is not necessarily true that there are four distinguishable) {4 f! E# `  h* `  H5 n* L% v
objects in the real world. For example, if I have £2 in one pocket and £2 in another, it necessarily
7 A8 q# B. [) r; ]follows that I have £4. in both pockets, but it is for empirical observation to ascertain; l* B: W- g& `8 w
whether in fact I have £2 in one pocket and £2 in another pocket This simple example illustrates
; f! J6 \; {% }. L8 x/ Ythe important principle that analytic propositions apply only in a hypothetical sense; w" _0 ?6 r9 p$ ?: P$ O" Z
to the real world. No analytic proposition of the form XA is BN can be asserted categorically4 i% F6 X: V7 d" y9 O# f
of the real world. It can only be asserted in the hypothetical form 'If X (some existing
$ q; |: c4 p0 S9 pthing) is A then it must be B.' But the proposition asserting that X is in fact A is synthetic: {4 T, q2 c0 P( }) X3 \- ?+ R
and cannot be necessarily true unless synthetic propositions can be a priori) z$ d7 @1 P+ x  x2 y5 }
Thus if a priori propositions are always analytic, philosophy will be unable to demonstrate
1 k! r) x, a6 p4 T, `6 [5 ?, Jthe truth of any proposition about the existing world except in so far as it is logically
% U* {! P) Z( Ximplied by an existential proposition whose truth has been established (if it can be established)
" H- I! s; }1 w# A# e/ u7 \! Sby empirical observation. The function of philosophy, in other words, will be to* L- B# k0 y" M6 D! F* d
examine the implications of propositions and not to demonstrate their truth.
/ t- n2 L5 P' [& bAs already mentioned, however, it was widely believed until some fifty years ago that
6 O- w% f! Q7 X* T4 ]% f! Zphilosophy could establish facts about the existing world quite independently of experience.
$ p$ f  _: n1 Q* T& k( b$ C- g" d5 h8 CPhilosophy was, indeed, often looked to for a rational justification of beliefs, such
3 q3 Q( D) B. |8 {5 g+ vas religious or moral beliefs, already held on non-rational grounds, and it was assumed# N& p! Q1 T/ L, z3 u" }7 z
that this justification could be given independently of experience. But during the present
" p# H+ p: B! h1 c" p4 Rcentury there has been a strong reaction from these methods and a growing acceptance of
7 `$ X& }  h* w$ G! C% Nthe alternative view that the function of philosophy is to clarify rather than to extend the$ Z' t/ x8 l1 }6 G
content of human knowledge.9 G6 v  v" n( R& T, @4 n( X
The theory that a priori thinking can never by itself establish a truth about the existing$ K" `! x6 ~2 y% `! o; G4 M
world is known as Empiricism, since it always asserts that such propositions can be6 {- i  ?" g! [0 q6 Q
established only by empirical observation. The alternative theory that a priori thinking can  _- C* u1 c2 i# S- i( i8 {
by itself establish truths about the existing world is known as Rationalism. And it is clear
- O. b1 Q% J+ ]* D1 u: pfrom the preceding discussion that Rationalism can be defended only if synthetic a priori
/ g4 Y1 c) K8 ]) B5 gpropositions are possible. For if such propositions are not possible no proposition about the( y" Q0 V! ~( t' O; ^, o
existing world can be established a priori, and some form of Empiricism must therefore9 C, Q# K" g+ E' l9 ~3 [' n: ~
be accepted: k  O- h* ]; T1 b2 Y4 b

1 ~8 c+ v4 \+ [' u4 mBefore the present century, when the doctrine has received wide support, the most celebrated( a! {3 X  Z5 E4 F
exponent of Empiricism was the Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776)," v1 a! {* Z, T: f/ ~, K6 k
now generally recognized to have been one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Hume
4 O. ?# J) \3 E+ K" _* bheld that the only propositions which are certainly true are those which describe A relations9 h6 M) V3 c* Z# a
of ideas', by which he meant analytic relationships in the sense defined above. Those/ {: w4 e- k8 V: ^! R
which describe "matters of factQ, i.e. synthetic propositions, cannot be rationally justified,, `$ s3 i# s/ ?* d& r9 r: h/ [" }/ s3 }
although they can be accepted as true in so far as they are justified by direct observation.
. v% d" c0 T  M# XBut of course the great majority of synthetic propositions—in particular, the socalled" D7 n8 w# E+ @. }
'laws' of science—go far beyond this and make assertions which cannot be justified by3 N; ?* }! \9 H( [0 @6 M1 b
experience.
% j) Z5 Z; u  V1 W0 ~4 nThus Hume argued that the belief in the universal truth of scientific laws follows7 L0 p% L) g( c( Z% U+ V
repeated observations of the sequences which they describe; but he denied that there is any
) [+ [+ i3 U; v8 L2 Xnecessity in these sequences, or even in the occurrence of the belief that they are universal0 i  ]) ]* l7 a
and necessary. If I infer that, because all observed samples of arsenic have proved to be
( `+ j, F5 Y9 `, A- I( A. ^poisonous, therefore all samples whatsoever are poisonous, no logical justification of this" \4 N) a) S0 a3 i$ @% `
inference can, according to Hume, be given. It is just a fact that, following on the observation
- A" @! V3 G; nof numerous samples of arsenic which prove to be poisonous, everybody believes
+ I$ ]' Q0 t) ^7 U0 f# s8 Pthat all samples whatsoever will prove to be poisonous. But there is, according to Hume,7 Y. l9 Z" ]* I; r+ p& X
no rational justification for this belief; it just happens to occur following on experience of! t4 C7 ~: Z, }' A
the effects of arsenic in a limited number of instances, and just happens to have proved a8 q  k9 H3 ]8 Y' r( s* `/ |
reliable guide in practice. There is no guarantee that it will prove to be true of all instances8 @, ]- y& d2 P, y+ H# `
whatsoever. Thus there is nothing A reasonable' in the belief in the a priori sense.
  o2 i8 ~& t7 i( IHume reached the same sceptical conclusions about the general propositions of morality.
5 a3 J9 d& E# e- t- h% A' PHe thought it obvious that these propositions are synthetic, and argued that they cannot( O. E; ?% I) ^' w3 H" H2 X! s
therefore be a priori Such propositions as C Jealousy is evilA or F Lying is wrongJ are,+ n* `  d# `; F8 t  I) \( O/ g% H
he thought, obviously synthetic in that their predicates are not part of the meaning of the7 Z, G/ s& i2 w4 W7 M( ^2 [3 ^# P
subjects. And such propositions cannot be a priori, for no necessary connection can, in his
6 Q. A( D4 T/ l1 s1 @( G, xview, be discerned between the subject and the predicate. Hence the basis for these moral
; L: r  _: x: l3 x* O0 V/ dgeneralizations must be the same as the basis for the generalizations of natural science—
# t, R# d$ S1 l9 ^$ b" }the observation of a limited number of instances. And this is not a rational ground for
/ o) T. H! x" j) Vasserting them.
9 @$ f/ J  V" D, b% OHaving denied that moral generalizations have any logical necessity, Hume set himself
) s% h$ k: q' _0 ^to analyse the empirical evidence on which they are based. He reached the conclusion that4 w% K  X) P5 _% \' p
the basis of such generalizations is a peculiar type of sentiment or feeling. When I say9 \. B( ~" p! t
"Honesty is goodN I am, according to Hume, saying, in a rather specific sense of the word& `6 J/ l) T' P- F+ [& X3 R
'likeY, i Like honestyP. I am, in fact, describing not an inherent quality of honesty but a feeling4 M2 }/ k6 ]0 J+ J; }
excited in me by the contemplation of honesty. This feeling Hume called the 'pleasing
3 L0 v. c! P! a. c- dsentiment of approbationU. He thought that moral disapproval in the same way expresses a2 I# Z' w) f- L+ l8 l
sentiment of disapprobation. Thus Hume concluded that there is nothing "rationalE or "logicalH5 l# H4 b: f6 k( x5 B
in morality and that it is impossible to show, on a priori grounds, that moral propositions
6 ?3 X1 m, ^6 ]% Sare true or false. Their truth or falsity depends on the purely empirical question1 @/ t' _* k% @7 T% f4 F, V" l
whether they are or are not accurate descriptions of the feelings to which they relate.$ x2 a$ m& @6 Q& p9 K
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