World Philosophy Day
By celebrating World Philosophy Day each year, on the third Thursday of November, UNESCO underlines the enduring value of philosophy for the development of human thought, for each culture and for each individual.
Philosophy is an inspiring discipline as well as an everyday practice that can transform societies. By enabling to discover the diversity of the intellectual currents in the world, philosophy stimulates intercultural dialogue. By awakening minds to the exercise of thinking and the reasoned confrontation of opinions, philosophy helps to build a more tolerant, more respectful society. It thus helps to understand and respond to major contemporary challenges by creating the intellectual conditions for change.
UNESCO leads World Philosophy Day – but does not own it. It belongs to everyone, everywhere, who cares about philosophy.
On this Day of collective exercise in free, reasoned and informed thinking on the major challenges of our time, all of UNESCO’s partners are encouraged to organize various types of activities - philosophical dialogues, debates, conferences, workshops, cultural events and presentations around the general theme of the Day, with the participation of philosophers and scientists from all branches of natural and social sciences, educators, teachers, students, press journalists and other mass media representatives, and the general public.
World Philosophy Day 2021 wishes to open the discussion on the different interactions of human beings with their social, cultural, geographical and political environment, with the underlying objective of better understanding the contribution of philosophy in our contemporary societies and the challenges they face, the pandemic in particular. Philosophy, and even more so intercultural philosophy, is concerned with context and is therefore, in its very essence, concerned with the transformation of society.
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL
"Words sometimes fail to grasp the complexity of the world and its upheavals. To paraphrase the great philosopher Ibn Khaldūn, without the transmission of thought, language is only a barren land.
As an antidote, UNESCO works daily to bring philosophy, that universal language of thought, into service in order to identify all the ramifications of the crisis and to clear a common path for humanity."
— Audrey Azoulay, Director General, Message on the occasion of World Philosophy Day
- European Humanities Conference, 5-7 May in Lisbon, hosted by Portugal and UNESCO
- Italy organizes Philosophy Marathon
- Philosophical perspectives explored as speakers engaged with students around the world in a special Master Class against racism and discriminations
- The importance of philosophy in times of crisis, theme of World Philosophy Day 2020