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In this modern classic of religious thought, Christian philosopher Robert Spaemann takes the reader on a quest for the fundamental principle of ethics. Writing in a clear style accessible to non-specialists, drawing both on ancient and modern philosophy, from Aristotle, Plato and Aquinas to Kant and Hegel, he discovers the intimate relationship between ethics and ontology - the science of being. "Happiness and Benevolence" is written for theologians as well as philosophers - indeed for anyone who is concerned with the meaning of a 'life well lived', with good and evil and the search for happiness. Rigorous in his thought and wide-ranging in his erudition, Spaemann makes important contributions to the contemporary discussions of altruism, consequentialism and the metaphysical basis of modern science. He succeeds brilliantly in rehabilitating the concepts of nature, natural teleology and natural right (natural law), and in doing so he illuminates modernity itself at the deepest level. The book also contains an important study of Spaemann's "Philosophische Essays" by Arthur Madigan.
Robert Spaemann held the first Chair of Philosophy at the University of Munich until 1993.