About Us

About the Brisbane school

The School of Philosophy in Brisbane is a non-profit, non-religious incorporated association, associated with the School of Economic Science in London, and its branches worldwide. It began in Brisbane in the early 1990s and has offered the Introductory Course three times a year since then.

The School of Philosophy is for thoughtful people seeking to understand the nature of existence and the world in which we live.

Courses draw on the great philosophic ideas of Eastern and Western traditions which lead to clear thought, reduction of stress, mindfulness, and effective action in work, study and every aspect of daily life.

Practical philosophy explores the meaning of wisdom, truth, consciousness and the power of love. It gives you the tools to become more mindful, more connected and more alive.


The School of Philosophy began in London in 1937 as the School of Economic Science, when a small group of people came together to study economics. They hoped to discover principles that would help to eliminate the social ills prevailing at the time by understanding the universal laws that govern the relations between people in society.

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 practised 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 for the School 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. Since then the School of Philosophy has received invaluable guidance in the study and practice of philosophy from Sri Shantananda Saraswati and his successor, Sri Vasudevananda Saraswati.

Through this connection, the School was introduced to the universal teaching known as Advaita, which means literally ‘universal’ or ‘devoid of duality’.

Advaita is a universal non-denominational teaching that points to the unity underlying all things. The key principle is that within each of us there is something that is common to all and is unchanging, pure and free.

Many people believe the concept of Advaita is implicit in Western teachings and philosophical works including the Bible, Plato, Shakespeare and Emerson. The School believes this philosophy to be of real value in dealing with the problems that arise in our everyday lives, and also with the conflicts between communities and nations.