World Philosophy Day

World Philosophy Day annually celebrated on the Third Thursday of November to honor philosophical reflections around the world. It is a day for people to share thoughts, openly explore and discuss new ideas and inspire public debate or discussion on society’s challenges.  It was first celebrated on 21 November 2002. In 2015, the Day is due to 19 November.

World Philosophy Day was introduced in 2002 by UNESCO to honour philosophical reflection in the entire world by opening up free and accessible spaces. Its objective is to encourage the peoples of the world to share their philosophical heritage and to open their minds to new ideas, as well as to inspire a public debate between intellectuals and civil society on the challenges confronting our society.

Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. In more casual speech, by extension, “philosophy” can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”.

World Philosophy Day is a UNESCO initiative that draws people around the world to engage in shared reflection on contemporary issues. Various events and activities include:

  • Philosophical dialogues, debates, lectures, and meetings involving renowned philosophers.
  • International conferences on philosophical topics such as the connection between philosophy, education and culture.
  • Exhibitions and philosophy book fairs.
  • Philosophy cafes.

Different organizations, community groups and government agencies in many countries, including (but not exclusive to) Chile, France, Morocco, the Philippines, and Turkey, have participated in actively promoting 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. UNESCO has always been closely linked to philosophy, not speculative or normative philosophy, but critical questioning which enables it to give meaning to life and action in the international context.


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