The Conduct of Life

By Benedetto Croce; Arthur Livingston | Go to book overview

XXIII
Providence

THE idea expressed in such formulas as "Providence," the "Logic of Events," the "Necessity that transcends the individual," the "History that is stronger than we are," and other synonyms still, has been, in the past, disparaged as of a transcendental and mythological character. Such it was, unquestionably, and such it may become again. But that does not affect a kernel of real and authentic truth to be discerned in it.

When a poet, for example, sets out to translate his inspiration into words, he usually begins, as is commonly observed, with certain practical aims and intentions, with certain preconceived ideas or methods. And it is also commonly remarked that if he is a true poet, if his inspiration is' genuine and strong, he overcomes the obstacles laid in his path by these inadequate aims, intentions, preconceptions; and he writes his masterpiece in spite of them.

-170-

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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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