Who are We?

About us

Areté House is a digital publishing company and educational institution offering those things essential to a flourishing intellectual, contemplative, social and ethical life.

Areté House offers original, high quality, digital media content in the areas of philosophy, social theory, meditation and the yogic arts. Areté House is also an educational institution, offering academic quality online courses, webinars and personal one-on-one tuition in philosophy, contemplative practice and the yogic arts.

Areté House was founded by Dr Toby Mendelson and Dr Ruth Fitzpatrick, two scholars and meditation practitioners with backgrounds in philosophy, meditation, Buddhism, education and the social sciences

Our Vision

Our Vision

We believe that to succeed and flourish in life, two things are necessary: understanding the best ideas and mastering the most effective practices. Areté House covers both of these streams. On the level of ideas: academic quality podcasts, webinars and online courses in philosophy and theory. And on the level of practice: personal and group training in the yogic arts.

Co-founders of Areté House

Dr Toby Mendelson
Dr Toby MendelsonDirector & Lecturer
Toby is a specialist in political philosophy, ethics, social theory and Buddhist philosophy. His academic work integrates those domains, providing foundations for a political philosophy informed by Nāgārjuna’s philosophy of emptiness. He intends to continue researching and writing in philosophy, however, he is committed to publishing under a creative commons license agreement, so that his work remains freely available to anyone who is interested. Toby is also a passionate teacher, having run courses, lectured and tutored in a range of academic disciplines, principally in ethics, political philosophy and sociology. Alongside his academic career, Toby has maintained a meditation practice throughout his adult life and sees a natural co-emergence between his yogic and philosophic ambitions – it is this co-emergence that he wishes to outflow with and towards those who share (or wish to share) a similar trajectory.
Dr Ruth Fitzpatrick
Dr Ruth FitzpatrickDirector & Teacher
I am a meditation practitioner, a writer, a teacher, a mother, an academic—and attempt to integrate those roles as harmoniously as possible. My academic specialty lies in sociology, particularly the way in which spirituality and religious movements and practices impact on and engage with social change. My academic background includes a Peace Studies degree, an Honours on a female Tibetan Buddhist deity and a PhD on Engaged Buddhism. Throughout my adult life I have always been deeply involved in meditation and spiritual practice. During this time, I have been compelled to examine how the ethos of a spiritual life sits with that of social-political engagement—how they might conflict or enrich one another. Cultivating a rich inner life as well as creating social relations and systems that enable humanity to flourish, is central to all the work I do.
Read More About Toby and Ruth