[1] The term law probably recalls to the reader, in the first place, the rules of conduct proclaimed by the state and enforced under more or less heavy penalties against certain classes of its citizens. Austin, the most luminous English writer on jurisprudence, who has devoted a very large portion of his well-known work to a discussion of the meaning of the word law, remarks: “ A law, in the most general and comprehensive acceptation in which the term, in its literal meaning, is employed, may be said to be a rule laid down for the guidance of an intelligent being by an intelligent being having power over him.”

[2] He further goes on to observe that where there is such a rule there is a command, and where there is a command a corresponding duty. From this standpoint Austin proceeds to discuss the various types of law, such as civil, moral, and divine law. It will be at once seen that with Austin’s definition of law there is no place left for law in the scientific sense. He himself recognises this, for he writes: “Besides the various sorts of rules which are included in the literal acceptation of the term law, and those which are by a close and striking analogy, though improperly, termed laws, there are numerous applications of the term law, which rest upon a slender analogy and are merely metaphorical or figurative. Such is the case when we talk of laws observed by the lower animals; of laws regulating the growth or decay of vegetables; of laws determining the movements of inanimate bodies or masses. For where intelligence is not, or where it is too bounded to take the name of reason, and therefore is too bounded to conceive the purpose of a law, there is not the will which law can work on, on which duty can incite or restrain. Yet through the misapplications of a name, flagrant as the metaphor is, has the field of jurisprudence and morals been deluged with muddy speculation” (p.90).


[3] Now Austin was absolutely in the right to emphasize the immense distinction between the use of the term law in science and its use in jurisprudence. There can be no doubt that the use of the same name for two totally different conceptions has led to a great deal of confusion. But on the one hand, if the flagrant misapplication of the scientific meaning of the word law to the fields of jurisprudence and morals has deluged them with “muddy speculation,” there is equal certainty on the other hand that the misapplication of the legal and moral sense of the term has been equally disadvantageous to clear thinking in the field of science. Austin probably had in his mind, when he wrote the above passage, works like Hegel’s Philosophy of Law, in which we find the conception of the permanent and absolute character of scientific law applied to build up a system of absolute civil and moral law which somehow realizes itself in human institutions. To the mind which has once thoroughly grasped the principle of evolution in its special factor of natural selection, the civil and moral laws of any given society at a particular time must appear as ultimate results of the struggle for existence between that society and its neighbors. The civil and moral codes of a community at any time are those which are on the average best adapted to its current needs, and best calculated to preserve its stability. They are very plastic, and change in every age with the growth and variation of social conditions. What is lawful is what is not prohibited by the laws of a particular society at a particular time; what is moral is what tends to the welfare of a particular society at a particular time. We are all well acquainted with the continual change of civil law; in fact we maintain an important body, Parliament, the chief function of which is to modify and adapt our laws, so that they shall be best fitted at each period to assist the community in its struggle for existence. Of the changes in moral law we are, perhaps, less conscious, but they are none the less real. There are very few acts which have not been moral at some period in the growth of one or other society, and there are in fact many questions with regard to which our moral judgment is totally different from that of our grandfathers. It is the relativity, or variability with age and community, of civil and moral law, which led Austin, I think, to speak somewhat strongly of the speculation which confuses such law with law in the absolute sense of science. A law in the legal or moral sense holds only for individuals and individual communities, and is capable of repeal or modification. A law of science will be seen in the sequel to hold for all normal human beings so long as their perceptive and reasoning faculties remain without material modification. The confusion of these two ideas is productive of that “muddy speculation” which finds analogies between natural laws and those of the spiritual or moral world.


[4] Now if we find that two quite distinct ideas unfortunately bear the same name, we ought, in order to avoid confusion, to re-name one of them, or failing this, we ought on all occasions to be quite sure in which of the two senses we are using the name. Accordingly in my first chapter, in order to keep clear of the double sense of the word law, I endeavored to replace it, when used in the scientific sense by some such phrase as the “brief statement or formula which resumes the relationship between a group of facts.” Indeed it would be well, were it possible, to take the term formula, as already used by theologians and mathematicians, and use it in place of scientific or natural law. But the latter term has taken such root in our language that it would be hard indeed to replace it now. Besides, if the word law is to be used in one sense only, we may ask why it is the scientist rather than the jurist who is to surrender his right to the word? The jurists say that historically they have the older claim to the word – that civil law existed long anterior to scientific law.


(Source: Karl Pearson. The Grammar of Science. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1911:79-82.)




[1] 书是读不完的。在福建德化,瓷也是读不完的。


[2] 瓷何以用读呢?这是因为在我看来,瓷的诞生过程,完全是一次艺术创造的过程。尤其在德化,优质的陶瓷原材料是大自然赐给德化最珍贵的原生态物质,但单有丰富的瓷土原料,没有良好的开发、加工、利用,就不能昭显原材料的质地美,从而成为优秀的作品。更重要的是,如果没有一代代德化能工巧匠的不断探索和实验,没有创造者的文化积累和坚持不懈的艺术追求,就不可能产生出质地优美、风格独特的陶瓷产品,从而使德化成为世界著名的陶瓷产区。因此,面对德化如阳光一样灿烂与绚丽的瓷器,我只有用读的姿势,才能表达内心的激动和遐想,并且在读的过程中,以静思,以感悟,去领略德化瓷器独特的韵味。


[3] 德化做陶制瓷历史悠久,最早可追溯到新石器时期烧造印纹陶器。到明、清两代,瓷器大量流传欧洲,许多瓷器作品在海外被视为珍宝。更值得自豪的是,以青白瓷为代表的德化瓷器,在历史上曾有力地推动了“海上丝绸之路”的兴盛。有着如此丰富的文化底蕴,有着如此强盛的艺术生机,怎能不叫来这里的世人心揣敬意、虔诚细读呢?


[4] 然而读瓷,又该如何读起?


[5] 迄今为止,在德化,已发现的古窑址有二百七十多处,倘要一一尝读,大概无人能及。事实上,德化有多少古瓷今瓷遍布世界,其间又有谁能数得过来?由此看来,在德化读瓷,心不能太大,更不能太贪,须沿着做陶制瓷的历史发展的节奏,把握一个经脉,细细探源,深深体会,徐徐吐纳,久久体味,或许可窥一斑而知全豹。


[6] 当然,不同的人,自会读出不同的感觉和韵味。有的人从中读出德化水的灵秀,有的人从中读出土的本真,有的人从中读出火的明艳,有的人从中读出美的质感。还有的人读瓷追溯,从瓷窑废墟的残片读出瓷的柔性、宁静、从容、洁净、坚贞,即使破碎也棱角分明,找到了“以瓷为魂”的精神启示……读瓷读出这些感觉,又佐证了德化陶瓷的神奇独特和精美绝伦。


[7] 今年暮春,我再次来到德化,在当地陶瓷博物馆,浏览一件件光彩熠耀的艺术珍品,感觉自己正打开德化陶瓷这一本博大精深的大书,隔着重重岁月,一页页凝眸那些传奇,那些智慧,其低回婉转,如诉如歌。眼睛已不够用了,只能用心去感受那多彩多姿的世界,感受陶瓷那些美好的色泽,那些蕴含于其中的情感,甚至蕴含于其中的魂魄,并为之发出赞叹。


[8] 瓷确是可读的。尤其是德化瓷,细读时常常会感受一种历史和现实的交替,一种深刻的人生认知。这些作品,个个单纯素洁,极具腴润、典雅之美,特别是在造型样式、装饰图案、工艺技法等诸多方面,都显示了自身的显著特点,表现出高超的水准,凸现了经典作品的风范和令人难以忘怀的传承精神。


[9] 都说瓷器宜作生活用品,但当这些用品加强了表现力和独特形式感,便可能上升为作品。当作品以多种的形式和手法进行大胆尝试与发展后,便可能上升为精品,从而展示制作人的进取精神和创造智慧。而面对这样的作品,我感觉读到的是一种缘分,读时会情不自禁地接受作品对我的一种缓缓的浸润。如实说,我对瓷器的认识是极肤浅的,只是在读瓷的过程中,怀着对制作人的劳动的敬意,以及对他们睿智的一种认知,静静享受这一艺术带给我的乐趣,体味作品传达出的美感,感悟作品给予我的明澈而单纯的心境。在细读它们的时候,我仿佛看到了德化历代陶工的心血和智慧,看到了德化人勇于表现美、创造美的审美轨迹,那时,我的心中便会有古老和现代的音乐零散却又和谐地响起,承载着阳光和鲜花,泅渡时间的长河……我甚至还发现,在我读瓷的许多瞬间,瓷也无限度地释放自身能量,使我温暖,使我激动,使我找不到一个恰当的词语来赞美它们。不过一想,又觉得在德化读瓷而“自说自话”,也不失为一种真实的流露,而充盈着的这种发自内心的读瓷感受,盖源于一个外地人对德化瓷器的喜爱和粗浅的认识。


——朱谷忠:《人民日报2016年散文精选》. 北京:人民日报出版社2017年,第78-80页《读瓷》一文。