The School of Philosophy, Auckland, was founded in 1960 to make the philosophical study begun in London available in the Auckland region.
Throughout it’s history tutors at the Auckland school have worked to make the pursuit of philosophy and it’s related subjects available to as many people as possible throughout Auckland and Hamilton. Some of our students have joined us for just one term and others have remained with us for decades.
In group sessions tutors and students discuss themes from many philosophies and belief structures that can be applied in a directly practical way to the individual experiences of course participants. Each of these themes builds on study undertaken by the school’s founders. These topics were found to be valuable in their exploration of the pursuit of “Truth and Justice”
Origins and history of the School
While we are an independent organisation, the School does have its roots in the School of Economic Science in London. It was founded in 1937 by a Scottish MP, Andrew MacLaren.
Initially it was founded to “promote the study of the natural laws governing relations in human society, and the study of the laws, customs and practices by which communities are governed largely as a response to the severe economic depression of the early 1930’s.”
During the late 1950’s as the school’s founders became aware of the significant role of emotional wellness in alleviating economic circumstances. Soon after, philosophy became the central subject of study and practice within the School. In the early 1960’s the School developed a relationship with a leading figure of the Advaita [uh d-vahy-tuh] Vedanta tradition in India, Sri Shantananda Saraswati. The School received invaluable guidance in the study and practice of philosophy from him for over 30 years, and during that time also adopted traditional meditation and mindfulness techniques. These have become a cornerstone of the School’s approach to the full development of human potential.
The expansion of the School of Philosophy
While there has never been an expansion strategy, sister organisations to our sister school in London have been established all over the world in response to demand. Each organisation remains administratively and financially independent.
The Wellington School was the first international offshoot in 1959 and the Auckland School followed in 1960. Both schools continue to maintain a close relationship with the School of Economic Science.
Since its establishment in 1960 we have set up training centres in two well placed locations. We have also purchased a retreat centre in the Auckland suburb of Glendowie thanks to generous donations from students. We have also been involved in the setting up of the Ficino School. A sister school dedicated to philosophically inspired primary education in Mt Eden Auckland.
We strive to continue the work of continuous exploration and discovery. Advaita philosophy has a history that spans centuries and the School of Philosophy has, so far, only spent decades uncovering its practical applications, and penetrating its depths. We are confident that there is a wealth of inspiration still to be explored.
As we discover more, each course is adapted and expanded so that new participants can benefit from the discoveries of students that have gone before, allowing us to grow as both a school and as individuals.