The courses : scope and content

    • Is any prior knowledge needed ?

      No specific previous knowledge is needed, simply a good understanding of the language, in this case English, in which the course is given.

    • What is the course content ? What themes are addressed ?

      See the section "Practical Philosophy

    • What is the practical philosophy course?

      The aim of the course is to discover and experience our own true nature. So the first thing is to free ourselves from those things that hide it; and then we can begin to appreciate how it works in our daily lives. The theoretical part of the course supports this but is not an end in itself.

    • How does the course unfold?

      Each session of the course covers one or more topics. The course content is generated and produced by the School. It embraces the philosophical and spiritual heritage of humanity, drawing equally from Eastern and Western traditions. Concepts, quotations and texts which illustrate these are used as a basis for open discussion within groups.

      Each week specific practical exercises are suggested and students are encouraged to bring their own experience to discuss at group meetings.

      The weekly sessions themselves provide the opportunity to ask questions, form opinions and share experience, all within a framework based on the following principles:

        • Concerning the course content, neither accept nor reject what you hear but observe what happens in practice;
        • Contributions to discussion are made in the spirit of respect for each and everyone present;
        • The classes certainly encourage discussion but are not to be considered as debating chambers;
        • The personal confidentiality of any contributions made by students during the course sessions is maintained within the group.
    • Is there homework?

      There is no formal homework in the regular sense. However as part of the course's practical approach, students are invited to share the knowledge they acquire in daily life and to reflect on it. Such experience, brought to and discussed in the group, is invaluable to the progress of each student and to the group as a whole.

      For example, a very straightforward exercise in attention is proposed from the first time of attendance, which may be practiced each day. This exercise quietens the mind and provides complete rest two or three times a day.

    • What benefit can I expect from this course in philosophy?

      Life is often unpredictable and turbulent. We have a tendency to be at the mercy of external events and our state of mind, whether good or bad, can be too much dependent on them.

      Knowledge of the true Self, meditation and practical philosophy allow for a way of life free of such constraints.

      The course offers a deeper understanding of the nature of creation, practical steps to raise the level of consciousness, and the possibility of experiencing the peace and joy natural to our being.

      Such a rediscovery will have a positive effect on our efficiency and on our ability to take up our responsibilities in the world.

    • Are there exams?

      There are no exams - this is a practical course, and students are just encouraged to put what they hear into practice in daily life.

    • Are certificates or diplomas awarded ?

      No diplomas are awarded. On request a certificate of attendance can be made available.

    • Is there a further course, following the introduction to practical philosophy ?

      Yes. Subsequent courses develop subjects touched on in the Introductory Course; for example – wisdom, consciousness, reason, beauty, law and justice, and other universal principles. Selected topics are treated in more depth – for example, happiness, love, presence of mind, the development of wisdom in business life through care and intelligence, how to live in the world with philosophy.

      Three to four terms into the extended course there is the opportunity to begin meditation. This is an integral part of the philosophy practiced in the School.

    • What kind of meditation is meant ?

      This method of meditation is very simple and natural. It is based on the use of a "mantra" and comes to us from a long-standing Indian tradition. The practice of meditation begins following an initiation ceremony, accompanied with a moderate gift from the initiation candidate.

    • Are there other classes besides philosophy ?

      The School worldwide offers not only classes in practical philosophy but also classes covering art, architecture, calligraphy, music, mathematics, dance, language, education, law and economics. In Belgium the School offers courses in Sanskrit, economics, the study of Plato and also of Christianity in the light of Advaita Philosophy ( the philosophy of unity).

      Practical information : when, where, costs

    • When does a new course start ?

      Please see the Registration page.

    • Where do the courses take place ? Public transport, and car parking ?
      • BRUSSELS   - School of Philosophy, rue Gachard 43, 1050 Brussels
            For PUBLIC TRANSPORT and CAR PARKING in Brussels -  see the site's Contact page

      • ANTWERP    - School voor Filosofie, Van Schoonbekestraat 148, 2018 Antwerpen
    • Time of classes ?
      • In-person  :    19.30 - 21.45   At the School House in Brussels.
    • What is the cost of attending a term's course ?

      The introductory course fee is €90 (or €40 if under 25 years old) which covers the whole term of 10 weeks. The fee is fully refundable at any time during the first three weeks for anyone who chooses not to continue the course.

      Students who complete the Introductory course are welcome to follow optional further courses which explore more deeply an inspiring range of topics related to Practical Philosophy. Fees remain at the same level during the first year.

      Further continuation is possible after. Following the introductory year, standard course fees are €160 per term (€40 if under 25 years old).

    • How do I pay ?

      Payment of the registration fee can be made immediately online, as the final step of the registration process. Payment methods include credit cards and debit cards, transfer apps etc.

      • Full details are on the «Registration page»
      1. Can I pay with: "Training" vouchers ?

        No, unfortunately this is not possible.

      2. Are courses given in other languages ?

        In addition to courses given in English

        • Classes are also given in French at «Ecole de Philosophie », rue Gachard 43 1050 Bruxelles.
        • Classes are given in Dutch at locations in Antwerp and Brussels.

        For specific dates of the new term, please see the enrolment page.

        About the School of Philosophy

      • What is the School of Philosophy and how does it operate ?

        The School is a Belgian-registered charity and is non profit-making. It was founded in 1970 and is an affiliated organization of the School of Economic Science established in London in 1937.

        The School of Philosophy here in Belgium exists to help anyone searching for wisdom, for self-knowledge and for a deeper understanding of life and the world. It offers an environment where this can be studied, shared and experienced as well a meeting place for those seeking these essential aspects of life.

        The School does not only assist the development of the individual but seeks to promote well-being and justice within society. With this in mind, the School, also recognizing the importance of the individual's inner life, teaches and provides guidance in a method of meditation.

      • Who are the tutors ?

        The course material is given by those trained in the School of Philosophy. They bring both an intellectual understanding of the subjects dealt with and practical experience of their application in daily life. The tutors have followed the teaching of the School for some years and also practise meditation.

        Their professional experiences and qualifications are various and wide-ranging.

      • What was the parliamentary commission ?

        In summary, a Parliamentary Commission was set up in 1997 to examine the activities of a number of groups in Belgium. A limited and highly subjective input about the School of Philosophy, amongst 188 other organizations, was included, without the School being called to correct or respond to these opinions. The School remained on the subsequent “list” which was never approved by the Parliament and carries no official weight. However the School is still referred to on certain web sites, giving an unjustly negative bias.

        During the 40 years of its existence the School has never been subject to a single complaint and remains dedicated to the service of each individual and society at large; always respecting the rights and freedom of all.

      • How are the fees spent by the school ?

        The main items of expenditure for the School, an asbl, in order of importance are :

        • Publicity
        • Building expenses (energy, cleaning, maintenance...and rent of certain locations)
        • Maintenance of buildings (repairs, renovation...)
        • Administration (IT, website, office facilities,...)
        • Extras (flowers, refreshments,...)

        It should be noted that the School is able to run through the voluntary efforts of its course tutors and administrative staff.

      • How does the school of philosophy operate ?

        As required by law, the AGM (Annual General Meeting) of this non-profit School chooses an Administrative Council, which establishes the internal rules.

        The course content is outlined by the Head of the School in consultation with the course tutors and is approved by the Council.

        The course tutors and those involved in the running of the School are unpaid. Their motivation is based on the principle that the knowledge and wisdom which they have received should be passed on freely to others.

    Other languages?

    The Practical Philosophy introductory courses are given in English, usually on Monday evenings, and are held in-person at the School house in Brussels. Separate courses are also available in French and Dutch. Visit our French or Dutch language websites for more information.

    A real taste of philosophy

    The next 10-week introductory course in Practical Philosophy starts September 16, 2024, at the School house in Brussels. 

    Sessions are interactive, encouraging discussion with the tutor and between group members. The course fee is €90 which covers the 10 week term. Under-25 rate, €40.