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By Bendetto Croce

a choice from the Author's Preface: THE essays revealed during this quantity as ''The behavior of Life'' started to appear in Critica in 1915 as ''Fragments of Ethics,'' a reputation wherein they've got on the grounds that been in most cases recognized in Europe. yet they don't seem to be ''Fragments,'' safely, if by means of that time period we suggest contributions towards the formation of a procedure of ethics. lengthy earlier than they have been written I had accomplished this kind of process within the 3rd quantity of my ''Philosophy of the Spirit.'' they're self sustaining and separate investigations, quite, of yes difficulties in our non secular lives which had to be analysed and diminished to the foundations I had formerly propounded.

The older treatises on ethics (even that of Kant) used to have their -casuistries- and their -theories of the virtues,- the place specific -cases of sense of right and wrong- have been studied in appendices to the systematic works themselves. The summary and arbitrary personality of such experiences i've got validated during different writings, displaying the explanations why they have been destined to fade, as in truth they've got vanished, from smooth suggestion. yet those efforts did reply to a precise call for: the necessity all of us think for having the basics of ethics made particular and utilized to a number of the events that come up in existence. those specifications, it appeared to me, may good be met by means of essays like these which I right here found in specimen-in specimen merely-in the desire that others should be influenced via them to pursue related traces of analysis and meditation in line with their very own studies and their very own non secular needs.

Never deliberate as a complete nor assembled in accord with any layout, the essays have been instructed to me via the main assorted queues-a comment by means of a few thinker, a verse through a few poet, a few episode in public lifestyles, a few own challenge of my very own, a few situation of moral sense in a chum. there's hence a definite loss of continuity between them, and the following and there a repetition. yet such defects are a mirrored image of the spontaneous foundation and the loose and autonomous personality of the articles themselves. In reprinting those in book-form i've got idea it wiser to not make any abbreviations or adjustments which might, strength a man-made cohesion upon them.

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Faith and Abstention from Thought 37 The Conduct of Life And why? Because faith is nothing but the result of thinking, and only on something that has been thought can we rest in the unshakable conviction that we have the truth, that we are really enlightened, that we know what we ought to do in this or that or the other situation in life. Every faith is the product of a rational process, even when the process has led to belief in a revelation or an authority. And when a faith has been shattered, there is no way of mending it, or finding a substitute for it, except by thinking.

As our cold thought disintegrates this metaphysical ideal and even shows that the notion of another world and of heaven itself is contradictory and empty, we set about constructing less pretentious havens of retreat: some day we will retire from business, from politics, from the quarrels and ambitions of active life, and pass a comfortable old age with a few friends and many books and the people we love about us, smiling serenely as we think of the toils and troubles of the years. But then these more modest ideals also crumble under our fingers.

It is a sort of grace from on high that descends upon those who allure it, inviting it by daily effort, preparing themselves to welcome it, and sustaining it when it has come by new efforts. Nor, beyond the sphere of the work we do for the joy of working, can we suppress the questions which the march of life puts to the individual and which he is obliged to answer. Rebellion against this necessity would be not only vain but harmful (for the very idea of necessity presupposes rationality). And harmful to us as individuals!

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