AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (354-430) is one of the most eminent Western Doctors of the Church and the first major Christian ethical philosopher.
Augustine’s moral philosophy is also eudemonistic or concerns the attainment of happiness. It also recognizes the significance of virtues, though its real focal point is love, particularly the love of God.
Happiness, wisdom, and reason
Following the ancient Greek ethicists, Augustine regards moral philosophy as an enquiry into the Summum Bonum: the supreme good, which affords the happiness all persons seek. Happiness is equated with the achievement of wisdom. The typical objects of desire – wealth, earthly power, honors, physical beauty – do not guarantee happiness, much less moral goodness. Only the Supreme Wisdom, the Omniscient God, provides ultimate contentment.