THE essays printed in this volume as "The Conduct of Life" began appearing in Critica in 1915 as "Fragments of Ethics," a name by which they have since been generally known in Europe.
But they are not "Fragments," properly, if by that term we mean contributions toward the' formation of a system of ethics. Long before they were written I had completed such a system in the third volume of my "Philosophy of the Spirit." They are independent and separate investigations, rather, of certain problems in our spiritual lives which needed to be analysed and reduced to the principles I had previously propounded.
The-older treatises on ethics (even that of Kant) used to have their "casuistries" and their "theories of the virtues," where particular "cases of conscience" were studied in appendices to the systematic. works themselves. The abstract and arbitrary character of such