Humanities and Philosophy

© UNESCO / Sandro Chia

© UNESCO / Sandro Chia

The Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme cooperates with academic networks to support the production of creative new ideas. The programme also works with governments to promote reference to humanistic thinking in responding to social transformations.

The humanities are crucial in fostering understanding of cultures and shedding light on social transformations. They offer key input on such MOST priorities as social inclusion and sustainable development.

Managing social transformations is not only about technical solutions; it is also about imagining creative alternatives. In this work of imagination, the disciplines of the humanities have a key role to play.

Philosophy – which is part of the humanities - questions every dimension of human life. UNESCO has always been closely linked to philosophy, which is defined as a “School of Freedom” in one of its major publications. Through critical questioning, philosophy gives meaning to life and action in the international context.

The link between philosophy and UNESCO stems from inquiry on the possibility of and necessary conditions for the establishment of long-term peace and security in the world.

Through its intellectual work, in dialogue with other humanities disciplines and social sciences, philosophy contributes to institutional responses to the issues of social transformation, reflecting the pluralism of experience and cultures across the world.

The humanities and philosophy deal not only with the traditional legacy derived from past cultures and times but also with the challenges the world is currently facing: the plurality of identities, languages, migration, environmental change, critical thinking on theory, action and policies… These legacies and dynamics nurture inventive approaches to social change.

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