The Conduct of Life

By Benedetto Croce; Arthur Livingston | Go to book overview

III
Attachment to Things

THE Spirit, in its economic, or, if you prefer, its natural phase, creates life -- our immediate or natural life; and the creation of life necessarily involves creating conditions essential to life, not as something distinct therefrom (as economists, in their formulas, distinguish ultimate values from the instruments which produce them) but as something intrinsic in it; since every act, every fulfilment, of life is a point of departure as well as a point of arrival -- it is a condition of new life; and every. series of acts is a condition, in the same way, for other series of acts. The sum of such series is our capital in life -- our habits and capacities, our wealth, possessions, "property" -- our "goods," as they are often called, wherewith, as the philosophers of law say without fully- understanding what they say, man asserts his right and his control over Nature.

In such possession life finds its joys and its

-19-

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The Conduct of Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Author's Preface v
  • Translator's Note ix
  • Contents xiii
  • I - Types of Failure 3
  • II - Sins of Thought 11
  • III - Attachment to Things 19
  • IV - Religion and Peace of Mind 27
  • V - Our Dead 34
  • VI - Sex 39
  • VII - Forgiving and Forgetting 46
  • VIII - On Telling the Truth 52
  • IX - Predisposition to Evil 62
  • X - Nefarious Professions 79
  • XI - Gratitude Add Merit 84
  • XII - "Heart" and "Reason" 92
  • XIII - Compassion and Justice 101
  • XIV - Toil and Pain 106
  • XV - Imagination and the Escape from Reality 113
  • XVI - Beyond Life 124
  • XVII - The Joy of Evil 128
  • XVIII - Virtue and Compromise 139
  • XIX - Faith and Abstention from Thought 146
  • XX - Humility 150
  • XXI - A Word for Imperfection 156
  • XXII - The Individual, Grace and Providence 164
  • XXIII - Providence 170
  • XXIV - Responsibility 176
  • XXV - Hope and Fear 184
  • XXVI - Objects of Worship 189
  • XXVII - Perfection and Imperfection 196
  • XXVIII - Innocence and Knowledge 208
  • XXIX - The Value of Example 217
  • XXX - The House Divided Against Itself 226
  • XXXI - Specialisation and Intolerance 232
  • XXXII - Indifference to Public Affairs 237
  • XXXIII - Political Honesty. 249
  • XXXIV - Disgust for Politics 255
  • XXXV - The Cravenness of States 262
  • XXXVI - The State an Ethical Institution 269
  • XXXVII - Rational and Irrational Institutions 277
  • XXXVIII - Social Programmes and Practical Reality 285
  • XXXIX - "Intellectuality" and "Intellectuals" 292
  • XL - The Non-Philospher 298
  • XLI - The Impenetrability of Consciousness 302
  • XLII - Beatitude and Yearning for Repose 313
  • XLIII - The Religious Spirit 320
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