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.
The 2019 edition aims to highlight the importance of philosophy in different regional contexts in order to obtain regional contributions to global debates on contemporary challenges that support social transformations. The purpose of this approach is to foster regional dynamics stimulating global collaboration to address major challenges such as migration, radicalization, environmental change or artificial intelligence.
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL
"UNESCO has always been a friend of philosophy. UNESCO itself is an institution that implements a philosophical project – the philosophy of human rights, that of Emmanuel Kant or Bernardin de Saint-Pierre. In a sense, it can thus be said that UNESCO, whose mandate reflects the universal vocation of philosophy, is itself a philosophy.
On this World Philosophy Day, UNESCO invites you (...) to experience this astonishment about the world and the environment and to unmask dogmas and prejudices; to discover, in short, the universality of the human condition."
— Audrey Azoulay, Director General, Message on the occasion of World Philosophy Day