The school began in London in 1936 when a small group of people came together to study economics, seeking an understanding of the universal laws which govern the relations between people in society. They hoped to discover principles which would help to eliminate the social ills prevailing at that time. In this climate of social and economic uncertainty, a school was established on the firm premise that truth and justice exist, and so could be discovered, and having been discovered, could be practised and taught.
The discovery, practice and teaching proceeded hand in hand, until in the early 1950s it became obvious that the key to the understanding of people in society was the study of mankind. Thus began the first courses in philosophy. The school’s approach to the study of philosophy has been practical from the beginning, and proceeded on the principles that what is learnt is for the benefit of others, and that the teacher never ceases being a student. The result is inner peace, contentment and lasting happiness.
The first courses were offered in Australia in 1967.
The School of Practical Philosophy started in Canberra in 2002, and is affiliated with other Australian schools in Adelaide, Ballarat, Brisbane, Geelong, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney and Wagga Wagga as well as schools around the world.
The school’s philosophy courses are inspired by the ancient Indian concept of Advaita, but embrace a wide range of philosophers, thinkers and writers.
The school offers a free lecture each term for students of the school and the general public. Those interested often then attend the Introductory Philosophy Course. For many, the Introductory Philosophy Course is as far as their interest takes them. For others who want to know more, the school offers further classes to study more deeply, to practise meditation and to apply the lessons of philosophy in their daily lives.
In a spirit of enquiry, the school encourages an exploration of philosophical principles based on personal experience. It is not exclusive, and its students include followers of the world’s great religions – and many who follow no religion at all.
As well as offering philosophy courses and public lectures, the school endeavours to run an outreach program by offering other events from time to time. Weekend Sessions exploring more general topics of interest to students are a feature of the program. Many of these sessions are open to the general public.
“The school is a non-profit organisation and is not associated with any political, religious or other organisation.”
All classes are held in Surveyor House, 27-29 Napier Close, Deakin
The school is a non-profit organisation and is not associated with any political, religious or other organisation. The services provided by the course presenters and other volunteers are given freely. The income received from the courses presented is only used to promote the aims of the school.