The School of Philosophy has been offering practical philosophy courses in Australia since 1967. It is a not-for-profit, charitable institute welcoming all students interested in the pursuit of spiritual and emotional well-being, regardless of education, occupation, age, culture or religion.
The School of Philosophy began in London 1937 as the School of Economic Science, when a small group of people came together to study economics, seeking an understanding of the universal laws that govern the relations between people in society. They hoped to discover principles that would help to eliminate the social ills prevailing at the time. A course in Economics was developed and offered to the public, which became—and continues to remain—very popular.
The School was established on the premise that truth and justice exist; that they can be discovered; and that, having been discovered, they can be practiced and taught. This approach led naturally to the study of philosophy—"the love of wisdom"—in order to gain deeper insights into the natural laws governing humanity and the origins of these laws. In the 1950s, Philosophy became the main study and has remained so ever since; and it is mainly to make Philosophy courses available more widely that many other branches of the School have appeared around the globe.
A major influence in the development of the School's Philosophy courses came in the 1960s, when the School's founder, Leon MacLaren, made contact with a leading figure of the Vedantic tradition in India, Sri Shantananda Saraswati, from whom it received invaluable guidance in the study and practice of philosophy for over forty years. The School continues to receive guidance from his successor, Sri Vasudevananda Sarasvati.
The School's approach to the study of philosophy has been practical from the beginning, and has proceeded on the principles that what is learnt is for the benefit of others, and that the teacher never ceases being a student.