Philosophy Day

World Philosophy Day

17 November

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.

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.

"Words sometimes fail to grasp the complexity of the world and its upheavals. To paraphrase  the  great  philosopher  Ibn  Khaldūn,  without  the  transmission  of  thought, language is only a barren land. As an antidote, UNESCO works daily to bring philosophy, that universal language of thought, into service in order to identify all the ramifications of the crisis and to clear a common path for humanity."
UNESCO Director-General
Audrey Azoulay Director-General

What UNESCO does in the area of philosophy

Humanities and Philosophy
The UNESCO Courier: Philosophy versus tribalism
In Liège: a new vision for the humanities in the 21st Century


Records of the General Conference, 33rd session, Paris, 3-21 October 2005, v. 1: Resolutions
8 Dec. 1970
Past Edition
All International Days