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Quick Link to this page: www.unesco.org/shs/philosophy/2006
World Philosophy Day, 16 November 2006  
World Philosophy Day, 16 November 2006
Introduced in 2002 by UNESCO, the intellectual organization of the United Nations system, in order to honour philosophical reflection in the entire world by opening up free and accessible spaces, Philosophy Day this year sees its fifth celebration.

The objective of this Day is to encourage the peoples of the world to share between them their philosophical heritage and to open their daily reflections to new ideas, as well as to inspire a public debate between intellectuals and civil society on the challenges to which our societies are confronted today.

This year, from 15 to 18 November 2006 in Rabat, at the invitation of the Kingdom of Morocco, World Philosophy Day will be celebrated in this land of dialogue and reflection. Already instigator of the proposition for a World Philosophy Day, a recommendation adopted by the Executive Board at its 171st session in April 2005, Morocco thus confirms its deep attachment to philosophy and the opening of each and every one to a constructive and free confrontation to the positions and opinions of the other. Land of the Maghreb but at the same time close to the European continent, Morocco perfectly illustrates what one can call a “mixed identity”: the crossing of religions, of cultures, of memories, of forgiveness and of acceptations of modernism.

Philosophers, as well as the public, will this year once again have the opportunity to debate varied subjects. A main lecture will focus on “Philosophy and the condition of the modern world”. Several round tables will deal with diverse topics, such as “Philosophy, cultural diversity and communication”, “Modernity and the condition of women”, “Philosophy and the obstacles to a coalition of cultures”, “Philosophy: teaching, discussing and translating”, “What can philosophy do in the Arab-Mediterranean world?” or “Philosophy and the North-South dialogue: What difficulties? What future?”. Other events will also take place in addition to the round tables, such as a café philosophique, a book-fair, and exhibition of “living art”, and an “Interregional philosophical dialogue between Asia and the Arab World”.

UNESCO is proud that World Philosophy Day 2006 is celebrated in a country where the respect of traditions is accompanied by a profound questioning on democracy, in theory and practice, the protection of human rights, religious harmony, dialogue among civilizations, etc.

In addition, at the Headquarters of the Organization in Paris, several events will take place between 13 and 16 November 2006: a conference on the topic “Philosophy as educational and cultural practice: A new citizenship” will touch upon the questions of new philosophical practices and particularly the teaching of philosophy to children (15-16 November 2006). Another conference, organized in the framework of the events celebrating “A century with Levinas”, will focus on “Levinas-Blanchot, thinking the difference” (13-16 November 2006). An exhibition of paintings by Philippe Maurice will also take place at UNESCO’s premises from 13 to 16 November 2006.

A number of thinkers have put forth the « astonishment » that is at the centre of philosophy. It is indeed a consequence of the natural tendency of the human beings to interrogate themselves about themselves and about the world they live in. This discipline that claims its “love for wisdom” teaches us to think about thinking, to question all established truths, to verify all hypotheses and to seek our own conclusions. Since centuries and in all cultures, philosophy has given birth to concepts, ideas and analyses, thus setting the foundations for a critical, independent and creative thought.

It is the thinkers and intellectuals who know, perhaps before others, how the mixing of cultures and civilizations has taken place throughout history, how the values promoted by religions have crystallized and been adopted and how the noble principles have attracted the devotion of the entire humanity. All these interrogations, and many others, will be on the agenda of the 2006 edition of World Philosophy Day.

We wish that, like its previous editions, this World Philosophy Day, hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco, will be a great success and that its conclusions will serve all, researchers and students, political decision-makers and poets, civil servants and all those “curious” and enthusiastic for philosophical debate and reflection.

Contact us

For more information regarding the celebrations of World Philosophy Day 2006, contact the Human Security, Democracy and Philosophy Section at philosophy&human-sciences;@unesco.org.

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