07.11.2009 -

World Philosophy Day 2009

World Philosophy Day, an annual date UNESCO put on the calendar in 2005, is increasing its scope. This year the international celebration will be held in Moscow and St Petersburg (Russian Federation) from 16 to 19 November. Numerous other events are planned at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and in many countries around the world.

International celebration, Moscow (16 to 18 November) and St Petersburg (19 November): Renowned philosophers, students, academics and other lovers of philosophy will get together in Moscow and St Petersburg around the topic “Philosophy and the Dialogue of Cultures”. The event is organized by the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Eight round tables at the Institute will focus on subjects including Getting free of the historic stereotypes of philosophy; Dialogue of rationalities; Cultural self-consciousness in the era of globalization; Philosophy for children; and Teaching philosophy in a multicultural context. In St Petersburg, the plenary closing session will be held at the Russian Ethnographical Museum.

Paris celebration (UNESCO Headquarters): On 10 November (Room IV), two volumes entitled “Philosophies d’ailleurs” (philosophies from elsewhere), edited by Roger-Pol Droit, will be launched during a round table organized by the French magazine Philosophie, France-Culture radio and the publisher Editions Hermann, in cooperation with UNESCO. “Philosophies d’ailleurs” is an anthology of philosophical texts from great civilizations (Volume 1, Indian, Chinese and Tibetan philosophy; Volume 2, Hebrew, Arab, Persian and Egyptian philosophy).

A symposium and debate on “Islamophobia in the World of Scholarship?” will be organized on 12 November, for the launch of “Les Grecs, les Arabes et nous : Enquête sur l'islamophobie savante (The Greeks, the Arabs and Us: an Inquiry into Islamophobia in Scholarship), published in French by Fayard. Travel and the exchange of philosophical ideas are among topics it covers.

A symposium entitled “Pierre Clastres and us: The Copernican revolution and the question of the State” will be held from 18 to 20 November in Room II. Organized by the University of Paris VII, the event will focus on Clastres’ work, notably on his book “Society against the State.” The French anthropologist and ethnologist challenges the belief that “primitive” societies have yet to discover power and the state. In his view, they are structured to avoid the emergence of the state, thus representing examples of alternative modes of social organization.

The International Congress on John Stuart Mill will be held on 19 November in Room IV, organized by the Chair in Philosophy of Biological and Medical Sciences of the Collège de France, with the support of the Institut international de philosophie and the Fondation Hugot of the Collège de France. It marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Mill’s “On Liberty,” a seminal work of modern political, social and moral philosophy.

On 18 and 19 November, the 9th Meeting on New Philosophical Practices will take place in Room XII. The meeting, organized with the Philolab association, the Institut Universitaire de Formation des Maîtres (Academic Institute for Teacher Training) of Créteil and the magazine Sciences Humaines, is a debate open to everyone involved or interested in innovative approaches to philosophy. Its goal is to make philosophy accessible to the greatest number in a variety of settings.

Events around the world: At the same time, students, teachers, professors and researchers in philosophy will take part in World Philosophy Day events organized in many UNESCO Member States by a range of partners: UNESCO National Commissions and field offices, universities, associations, research centres, specialized NGOs, institutes etc.

In addition, on 14 and 15 December, UNESCO is sponsoring the First Assembly of the International Network of Women Philosophers. The network, created in 2007, provides a platform for information and exchange to the world’s women philosophers.

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