Frequently Asked Questions

What philosophy does the School of Philosophy Auckland teach?

We draw inspiration from many philosophies and religious traditions from around the world including the Platonic tradition, the Judaeo-Christian and particularly inspired by the ancient concepts of Advaita Vedanta. The aim is to discover and realise in life the truth about one’s self and the unity that lies within creation. This study leads to the conclusion that all religions and philosophies reflect differing aspects of the one truth.This can help us in practice to find our own inner strength, freedom, intelligence and happiness, qualities which then reflect naturally in life.
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What do you mean by philosophy?

The Greek philosopher Socrates defined philosophy as ‘the love of wisdom’. The original purpose of philosophy, to discover truth and develop wisdom by practical application in our daily lives of what has been discovered, is central to our activities.

What do you mean by practical philosophy?

Philosophy which is applicable to all aspects of our lives. Practical Philosophy is a journey of discovery through study, discussion and reflection. The truth of what we have learnt is then tested against the experience of every day life.

What does the School of Philosophy do?

We offer a series of ongoing courses in practical philosophy. Courses are available for as long as students wish to pursue their love of wisdom.

Is there financial aid?

Non-earning student discounts are available.Top of Page

What is the financial structure of the School of Philosophy?

The School is entirely supported by course fees and donations. Over the 50 years that we have been in existence we have purchased two buildings, funded by fees, donations and loans. Our funds go entirely to support courses, events and retreats, to maintain buildings and to advertise courses. No one receives any payment for their services to the School.

Who are the tutors?

The tutors are men and women who have studied philosophy in the School of Philosophy for many years. They come from all walks of life, united by a shared love of wisdom, and volunteer their time to teach. Tutors are selected for the breadth of their understanding, their character and their devotion to principle. Every tutor in the School remains a student in their own group.

Are the School of Philosophy’s courses open to anyone?

Yes. Our courses are open to anyone regardless of age, race, sex or religious belief. Many students are active in their faiths and this is supported in an open and inclusive manner.

Are there similar schools

Yes, the original school is the School of Economic Science in London, England, founded in the 1930’s. As students relocated over the years, new schools began around the world, each reflecting the society in which it is established. As in Auckland, they are legally autonomous and administered by the more senior students. The Schools maintain regular contact with each other and share a common approach to the subjects studied.
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Who is The School of Philosophy (Auckland) Inc.?

The School of Philosophy (Auckland) Inc. was established in 1960. As an Incorporated Society the school is administered by an executive committee elected by a membership of senior students. No one in the School receives any financial benefit and fees are designed to cover expenditure. All staffing activities are voluntary and the School is a Registered Charity. While the School is affiliated to similar organisations around the world, it is legally and financially autonomous. The School is carefully structured to be transparent in it’s role as a facility through which students may study and pursue a philosophic way of life.

What is the simplest way of learning more about it?

You can call us on (0800) 610 539 and speak with one of our tutors or students. You also may be interested to view some comments about the Introductory course from current students.

Why meditation, what kind is it, how do I learn and how much does it cost?

Meditation allows the experience of deep inner peace and happiness, and can over time make these qualities part of everyday life.We teach and practice mantra meditation based on the Advaita Vedanta tradition because we’ve found through long experience that it works. We offer initiation in the meditation in the traditional manner, which involves a short ceremony honouring the lineage of teachers. A once-only donation is requested for the initiation. Following initiation, the School offers free and continued care and support for meditation as long as you want it, even if you stop attending courses.

What does all this cost?

Effective from 2011; the 9 week Introductory Course costs $165.00, non-earning students ( with student ID)  $115.00.
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If I like it, can I keep going?

Yes. Most people find substantial benefit in taking one or a few courses. Some students find such value that they continue their study of philosophy. An introduction to the practice of meditation is offered after approximately a year of study. Later on, weekend and weeklong residential retreats are offered to study and practice philosophy without the distractions of daily life. Subjects such as drama, music, art, calligraphy, economics, mathematics, Sanskrit, the education of children, the Renaissance and dance are explored in greater depth in study groups formed by interested students. Many students have been participating in the School’s courses and retreats since it was founded in the 1961, and find a strong sense of community.

What’s in it for me?

Many students find a greater sense of purpose, peace of mind, contentment and understanding of themselves and the world around them, as well as the discovery of new abilities and talents.

Do I need a higher education to understand this?

No. The practical approach to philosophy is open to everyone, from all walks of life; working, professional, at home, academic. Our courses deal with the experience and problems of everyday life. If you’re interested in the approach, willing to join in discussions and ready to enter into the spirit of the investigation, that’s all that’s needed. If you have studied philosophy before you may find this a unique and intriguing approach.

How academic is this?

Not at all. There are no quizzes, tests or anything of that sort. The classes are open discussions based on readings and observations. The only test that is given is everyday life: are we happier, more effective, more peaceful? There are no certificates, diplomas or qualifications; just the opportunity to examine life and keep growing and learning.

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What is the basic approach

The introductory class takes up a different topic each week. Discussion then involves both relevant excerpts from a variety of philosophers as well as each student’s own experience of the topic. Students are asked to observe what goes on in and around them during the week in relation to the topic, and these observations form the basis for the following week’s discussion. The basis of the approach is reasonable enquiry, and students are asked to neither accept nor reject what is discussed, but to actively seek to discover for themselves whether what is proposed is true or false.

Any unanswered questions please feel free to get in contact with us.