Wilhelm Hennis defends here the idea that politics is a 'practical' science, a moral science belonging to a tradition reaching back to Aristotle and opposed to the empirical science of politics originating in the seventeenth century. Well-known outside Germany for his seminal writings on Max Weber, these essays demonstrate the wider context of his thinking in the constitutional and popular politics of a 'new democracy': the Federal Republic of Germany, created in 1949. During the 1950s Hennis was first a Bundestag assistant, and then in Frankfurt as academic assistant to Carlo Schmid, a leading constitutionalist who also played a major part in the modernization of the SPD. His critique of 'radical' politics during the 1970s, represented here by two polemical essays on the problems of legitimacy and of democracy, drew upon his acute grasp of political theory, and his practical experience of party and government politics. Three later essays -- on Tocqueville, Goya and Max Weber -- demonstrate how the skills of political argument can be applied to classical figures.