World Philosophy Day

15 November

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 us 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.

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 (national governments, their public institutions and organizations, including National Commissions for UNESCO, relevant non-governmental organizations, associations, universities, institutes, schools, UNESCO/UNITWIN Chairs, Associated Schools and Clubs and so forth) 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.

Programme

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL

"Philosophy thrives on the human need to understand the world around us and identify principles by which to guide our actions. This ancient need is no less compelling today. Nearly 3,000 years after philosophy first emerged in China, the Middle East and ancient Greece, the questions raised in the pursuit of wisdom throughout the ages have lost none of their relevance or universality; in fact, quite the opposite is true.

In an increasingly complex world – one in which uncertainty prevails, societal changes and technological revolutions scramble traditional reference points, and we face huge social and political challenges – philosophy remains a vital resource. It allows us to step back and slow down and it lights the way ahead."

— Audrey Azoulay, Director General, Message on the occasion of World Philosophy Day

Download the complete message in PDF format
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