THE contrast between "heart" and "reason" is one of the most frequent commonplaces of everyday life; and even the careful thinker may take it over, though the terms in which it is expressed are clearly erroneous or at least such as easily lead to error. For if by "reason" we mean thought (which can only be "truth") and by "heart," sentiment or will, no real opposition can exist. A conflict between a prerequisite and the thing it determines, between the light of truth and the warmth, the fever of action which that light engenders, is unthinkable. But to go further into this criticism might seem to be verbal hair-splitting: in the present case "reason" can mean nothing but "rational will" or "will for the good," and "heart," likewise, volition that tends toward the good. So the conflict, if conflict there be, can arise only between two wills, two goods, two "hearts."
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Publication information: Book title: The Conduct of Life. Contributors: Benedetto Croce - Author, Arthur Livingston - Translator. Publisher: Harcourt, Brace and Company. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1924. Page number: 92.
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