Philosophy Day at UNESCO

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 us 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. For UNESCO, it is also the way to unleash humanity’s creative potential and generate new ideas. Philosophy creates the intellectual conditions for change, sustainable development and peace. " 

Audrey Azoulay
UNESCO Director-General


In establishing World Philosophy Day in 2005, the General Conference highlighted the importance of this discipline, especially for young people, underlining that “philosophy is a discipline that encourages critical and independent thought and is capable of working towards a better understanding of the world and promoting tolerance and peace ”.

UNESCO's General Conference was convinced that “the institutionalization of Philosophy Day at UNESCO as world philosophy day would win recognition for and give strong impetus to philosophy and, in particular, to the teaching of philosophy in the world”.

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 (national governments, their public institutions and organizations, including National Commissions for UNESCO, relevant non-governmental organizations, associations, universities, institutes, schools, UNESCO/UNITWIN Chairs, Associated Schools and Clubs and so forth) 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.

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