School of Economic Science

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The School of Practical Philosophy, New York
Thank my various Gods!
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The School of Economic Science (also the School of Philosophy and the School of Practical Philosophy) is an international organisation that teaches "economics with justice"[1] and philosophy based on SES leader Leon MacLaren's (1910-1994) interpretation of Advaita VedantaWikipedia,[2][3] a philosophical system based on orthodox Hinduism.[4]

It has offshoots in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Netherlands. In the last 50 years or so, the London branch has had some 130,000 students through its doors.[5]


Philosophy courses[edit]

All trains are long. All coaches are long. Therefore, all trains are coaches." That is logic, and it is no good for anything at all. There is absolutely no relationship between rationality and logic.
—SES Instructor[5]

Rather than offering an introduction to multiple current philosophies, the SES promotes its philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. Advaita involves the claim that there is an identity between the individual Self (the Atman) and the universal Self (the Brahman).[5]

The courses are promoted as being Socratic dialogues, but instead are merely vehicles to disseminate the Truth of Advaita. Hounam and Hogg state: "… students are not taking part in some philosophical free-for-all. Although no one has yet told them, they are receiving instruction in the Truth."[6]

Other tidbits:

  • Socrates proved that our souls had existed before our birth.[5]
  • Even those people in the deepest states of unconsciousness, presumably including the most serious of persistent vegetative states, have awareness.[5]
  • Sexual and gender conservatism. As Jeremy Stangroom states: "It was partly down to dress codes — the men, on the whole, wearing suits and ties, and the women, in a manner reminiscent of The Stepford Wives, long-flowing dresses."[5]

Against claims of being a religious cult, David Boddy, spokesperson for the SES, stated: "We’re not a malicious organisation. We stand for certain principles. We encourage people who come to the school to live in a certain way. It’s pretty harmless. It’s not subversive. It holds to certain family values. And it values marriage and all that kind of stuff."[5]

External links[edit]