Building peace in the minds of men and women

World Philosophy Day

18 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   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.



The 2020 edition wishes to invite the whole world to reflect on the meaning of the current pandemic, underlining the need, more than ever before, to resort to philosophical reflection in order to face the multiple crises we are going through.

The health crisis questions multiple aspects of our societies. In this context, philosophy helps us to take the necessary distance to better move forward, by stimulating critical reflection on problems that are already present but which the pandemic has pushed to their paroxysm.




"World Philosophy Day in 2020 is, in more ways than one, exceptional. It is being celebrated in the midst of a health crisis, an economic crisis, a climate crisis and an existential crisis. The current pandemic is challenging many aspects of our societies, namely how we relate to our communities, to our condition as individuals and to our economic and political systems.

This Day is therefore particularly meaningful this year. It gives us the opportunity to celebrate much more than an academic discipline or a human science, but a certain way of being in the world, made all the more necessary by the context in which we live today."

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

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