The original courses began in London, England in 1936 as a study in economics. Later it became obvious that the practice of philosophic principles was needed to lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Philosophic studies and courses were started in the early 1950s. Inspiration for the courses was gathered from many sources including Plato, Socrates, the Judaic-Christian teaching, Renaissance humanist Marsilio Ficino, Shakespeare, Hermes Trismegistus, Zen and Sufi stories and the Vedantic tradition of the East.
The School of Practical Philosophy in Toronto was founded in 1976 by a Canadian who had studied at the School in London England for nearly twenty years.
The School in Toronto is a registered independent charitable organization. All functions, including tutoring of classes, are given on a voluntary basis by senior members of the School.
The School’s Philosophy
In his letter to distinguished lawyer and knight Bernardo Bembo (1433-1519), Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) praises Philosophy as he writes, “Philosophy removes misery from mortals and bestows happiness upon them.” He goes on to describe how Philosophy works: “Philosophy uses the tools of dialectic, created by her own hand, to discover the truth in things through contemplation, the virtue in them through use, and the goodness in them through both.”
To this end, the School of Practical Philosophy makes available a space for like-minded people to practice dialectic, ask difficult questions and associate with good company.
In the study of practical philosophy, the student advances by steps … steps in understanding. As understanding increases there is an increased appreciation of the enormous wisdom that remains untapped and waiting to be accessed. Conscious living gives one an inroad into this wisdom and sheds light on daily life.