10 week online course

Practical Philosophy

Courses in practical wisdom for everyday living.

Practical life skills with enough toughness to last a lifetime.

Discover the Wisdom Within

Philosophy aims to set you free. Free from pressures and worries, free from limiting ways of thinking, free to grow and be yourself.
Take your first steps to freedom with our 10 week course.

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Online Course

Online course you can attend from anywhere.

Peace of Mind

Established 1937 in the UK. Delivering courses for over 80 years

Practical Wisdom

Courses in practical wisdom for everyday living. Meet with like minded individuals.

This popular course is practical rather than academic and draws on sources of wisdom from East and West, past and present.

Explore Life To The Full… through 10 weekly sessions

How the introductory course works

This online course offers a practical means to discover fully who we are, understand how to relate to the world we live in and see what gets in the way of being happy, peaceful and free.

  • Students are encouraged to test the ideas put forward in practice for themselves, in the light of their own experience.
  • A tutor presents philosophical ideas, and leads a discussion based on what arises in the group.
  • Practical rather than academic with  the emphasis on personal knowledge and experience.
  • A Tool Kit is provided of practical and mindful exercises.
  • Fresh thinking you can put into practice today
  • New insights, Fresh Perspectives, Expertise in good company

Students are invited to see life as a place to test the words of the wise through practical and mindful exercises.

The 10 weekly sessions explore central human questions through discussion, practical observation, conversation and reflection in good company.

By attending this 10 session course you will learn practical exercises that will help you

  • Uncover inner wisdom, potential and purpose
  • Understand yourself and others
  • Make better decisions
  • Find contentment and happiness
  • Discover the joy of living in the present moment
  • Learn how to harness the transformative power of attention
  • Reduce stress

Online Course Enrolment

Our courses run January, May and September. Enrol below for our January 2023 course.

  • Monday 16th Jan 10:00am - 11:30am
  • Monday 16th Jan 4:00pm - 5:30pm
  • Monday 16th Jan 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Tuesday 17th Jan 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Wednesday 18th Jan 10:00am - 11:30am
  • Wednesday 18th Jan 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Thursday 19th Jan 10:00am - 11:30am
  • Thursday 19th Jan 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Saturday 21st Jan 10:00am - 11:30am

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Introductory Offer £60
(Normal course fee £150)

Limited spaces

Self-enquiry through practical philosophy

Themes included in the course:

These opening sessions consider how philosophy can help us enjoy richer, less stressful lives. What is practical philosophy? ‘What would a wise person do here?’ Philosophy means the love of wisdom. Our course is intended to show how philosophy can help us enjoy richer, less stressful and more useful lives. This opening two sessions consider these aims, and introduces simple exercises in mindfulness and the application of wisdom you can practise in daily life. You can download or listen to the Awareness Exercise, introduced in week one here. To download, right-click, choose 'Save link as...' and save the MP3 wherever you want. You can also download a PDF of the Awareness Exercise

Who or what am I? What is my potential? Who am I, really? My body? My emotions? My strongly held beliefs? My soul? Possibly all of these? Possibly none? Such questions have preoccupied philosophers down the ages. We look at practical ways to explore who we really are and how to tap our true potential.

What is our state of awareness? Why does it fluctuate during the day? Often the most notable quality of wise people is their alertness to the subtleties of a situation. They are awake, perceptive and curious. We look at deeper levels of awareness, and consider how we may become more awake to ourselves, our surroundings, and the events we meet.

Living in the now, mindfulness. What is the potential of the present moment? We review our own experience of attention through a model featuring attention centred, captured, open and scattered, and how these each relate to the past, present and future. We examine the extraordinary brightness and freedom naturally available in the present moment. A straightforward practice is introduced.

Plato’s views on justice. What does it mean to live justly? According to Plato, justice and injustice do not start ‘out there’. They begin within us. For justice to prevail, Plato suggests that we must learn to avoid being ‘tyrannised’ by our passions and fears to the extent they overrule our reason. We discuss the practicality of Plato’s ideas on justice in our daily lives.

The Vedic model of three fundamental energies. Sometimes we seem not to have enough energy, or the wrong kind. A wise person can act consistently despite these varying conditions. We consider how to recognise differing energies, how to gain and conserve them and how to use them wisely.

What is reason? How can it enrich our lives? We look at guidelines for Socratic dialogue and how to use them. Developing reason in decision-making and action are also discussed, with practical applications. Obstacles to reason are considered. Everyone has the faculty of reason and we can all use it and develop it.

What is beauty?

Is there such a thing as absolute beauty?

Beauty has the capacity to open the heart and bring delight. In this session we discuss our direct experience of beauty in its different form: of the sensory world, of thought, of feelings, of the inner nature, and of conduct.

We consider Plato’s idea of there being ultimately one beauty – beauty absolute – ‘not knowing birth or death, growth or decay’.

Looking for the common thread in life. What is the effect of finding unity? When we look around, we see enormous diversity in nature. The wise person looks for the unifying factor: that which allows all this apparent diversity to be seen as part of a single whole. Seen in this way, life then has the best chance of being led freshly and openly.

What is truth? How does the desire for truth show itself? Practical philosophy is about discovering the truth of things – not theoretically, but in our own experience. In this final session we look back and ask ourselves how our search for truth has fared as the term has progressed. We discuss what has been discovered and how, in our own way, we may continue to develop it in our daily lives.

  • Monday 16th Jan 10:00am - 11:30am
  • Monday 16th Jan 4:00pm - 5:30pm
  • Monday 16th Jan 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Tuesday 17th Jan 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Wednesday 18th Jan 10:00am - 11:30am
  • Wednesday 18th Jan 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Thursday 19th Jan 10:00am - 11:30am
  • Thursday 19th Jan 7:00pm - 8:30pm
  • Saturday 21st Jan 10:00am - 11:30am
  • ENROL NOW

Location

Introductory Offer

Practical Philosophy Course for Life
£ 60 (normally £150)
  • 10 weekly sessions
  • Choice of days & times
  • Zoom access details will be emailed to you
  • Limited places
Popular

Any questions email hello@fses.org

How to Enrol

How the Introductory Course works

A tutor presents philosophical ideas, and leads a discussion based on what arises in the group. Being practical rather than academic, the emphasis is on personal knowledge and experience. Students are encouraged neither to accept nor reject the ideas put forward, but to test them in practice for themselves, in the light of their own experience.

Frequently asked questions

The course is practical in the sense that it takes philosophical ideas and shows how they can be of direct use in our everyday lives. The intention is to stimulate enquiry and through this expand the way we look at the world and ourselves.

First you need to enrol on a course. Our courses will be held online via the Zoom application, which we use to deliver all our online courses. Zoom is easy-to-use and can be accessed through a PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Please follow this link to download Zoom onto your device. It would be beneficial to take some time to familiarise yourself with the app. This link provides guidance on the app and how to join a classroom. We also offer in-person courses at various locations in London and around the rest of the UK.

Online or by calling 020 7034 4000 (while our building is closed, the temporary number is 020 3287 1443).

If you register online, you will receive a confirmation email with your day of attendance. If you register by any means other than online, you will receive a receipt confirming your registration.

For online courses, you will receive an email with your Zoom log-in details a few days before the start of your course.

No, all you need is an open and enquiring mind. The course is intended for everyone, regardless of education, occupation, race, political or religious belief.

Yes, we offer the course as an online interactive course via Zoom. Each live class is limited to 25 people only so there is opportunity for students to ask questions and share thoughts and observations if they choose to do so.

Yes, we have many local venues where you can attend the course face-to-face.

What some of our students say...