The School of Philosophy,
The School of Philosophy, Cambridge was started in The 1990s
to provide a convenient way for people in and around Cambridge to study
Practical Philosophy. It was formed as a branch of the School of Economic Science in London. It is
based on the concept that everyone can be happy and since the ideas held by
individuals are of profound importance to their happiness and shape their
lives; understanding the true principles which underlie them is of benefit
The method of enquiry used is based on a well-known principle
that real understanding arises only through practical experience. Each
student is therefore encouraged neither to accept
nor reject the philosophical principles of the East and West that are set
before them, but to put them into practice and evaluate their worth on the
basis of what they find.
Students in the school meet each week in discussion groups
with a tutor, who is also a student of the school. None of the tutors
receive any payment for teaching; their time is given freely.
to visit the website for the School of Economic Science.
This School is also affiliated with the East Anglian School of
Philosophy, which has branches all over East Anglia. Click here to visit their
The philosophical traditions from which this practical
approach to philosophy is drawn are far reaching; from Plato, Socrates and
the Stoics to Zen and Confucius and the Advaita
philosophy of India as well as more contemporary philosophic thinking. The
common factor is that the ideas are practical, have been tried and work to
improve everyday life experience.
Over the decades thousands of students have benefitted from
and enjoyed the practices and ideas offered. However, a tiny minority of
people have not liked the ideas and practices and have voiced their dislike
over the internet, calling the School of Economic Science a cult or worse.
The “cult” label is particularly ironic. A cult is generally understood to
be a religion or spiritual organisation that brainwashes individuals to a
certain dogma. The School of Economic Science courses start off with the
suggestion given above not to accept anything unless it is found to be true
in actual experience.
The aim is to give individuals freedom and greater control
over their lives and how they experience life. This unremittingly sceptical
and scientific approach is almost diametrically the opposite of a cult.