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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

World Philosophy Day 2015, November 19

Theme 2015 :  Plurality of languages and places of philosophy. 

 Statement from Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General on World Philosophy Day 2015.

 The conviction that philosophy can make  an essential contribution to  human well - being, to  ad dressing complexity, to advancing peace stands  at the heart of  World  Philosophy Day . 

The historian Henry Brooks Adams once joked: “ Philosophy: unintelligible answers  to insoluble problems .” Against this, UNESCO puts philosophy  forwa rd  as a force for individual  and  collective emancipation . For to think, while reflecting on what it is to think, is to  philosophize, and all of us do it constantly, driven by the truest motor of all human  ingenuity  – wonder.

Philosophy is dialogue of wonder, across the ages, with art and literature,  in social debates, on political questions,  practiced by al l, without specialized training, far  beyond the classroom. This is UNESCO’s message today  – we must raise the flag for philosophy as high  as possible, to engage every woman and man, and especially every girl and boy. 

We need to share the wonder of philosophy more widely and differently. This is the  goal of the  new UNESCO Chair on Philosophy with Children , at the University of Nantes in France,  the result of  long - standing cooperation between  UNESCO  and networks of philosophy teachers.

 We are working to make  p hilosophy, the most ancient of disciplines,  reach broader  audiences  thanks to cutting - edge technologies  – for instance, through online  teaching tools b ased on the 2015  UNESCO South - South Philosophical Manual .  All a ctivities celebrat ing this year’s  World Philosophy Day will, for the first time,  emphasize the use of new communication technologies to engage global  audiences. In September, world leaders agreed on the  2030 Agenda for Sustainable  Development . This is a  new vision for people, prosperity, peace,  and the planet , for  the next  fifteen years. 

Taking this to fruition requires all  the  skills philosophy can hone, includi ng rigour,  creativity and  critical thinking. Sustainability calls for  new ways  of thinking  about  ourselves and the planet. It requires  new ways of acting, producing and behaving.  Here again, p hilosophy and  all the humanities will be essential . UNESCO was created seventy years ago in a world rebuilding after a devastating  war, inspired by a new vision of peace, drawing on the  intellectual and moral  solidarity of peoples .

Philosophy has always been at the core of this mandate, to  provide women and men with openings for self - discovery and the discovery of  others, to understand change in order to shape it towards a better future for all. Mahatma Gandhi once said: “All our philosophy is dry as dust if it is not immediately  translated into some act of  living service” . This has  always been UNESCO’s message, and it has never been so important.    

Irina Bokova

FORUM : World Philosophy Day - 19 November.

Send us your questions, comments and suggestions – starting now – by email to the following address to:

EVENTS : World Philosophy Day 2015: roundtable on plurality of languages and places of philosophy. 

When, local time:  Thursday, 19 November 2015 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Where:  France, Paris Type of Event:
Category 8-Symposium
Contact:  John Crowley,

A roundtable debate is being organized on the issues of the plurality of languages and places of philosophy.  The full programme will be broadcast live on the internet, and an effort will be made to ensure the presence of philosophical themes in social media.  The meeting will bring together philosophers from different countries and aims to address issues concerning three major topics: - Knowledge and dissemination of philosophical thought of non-Western cultures, especially through new technologies; - Philosophy outside of the academic enclosure, using new places and formats; and - The variety of places and forms of teaching and learning philosophy.  The UNESCO Chair on the Practice of Philosophy with Children, being established at the University of Nantes (France), will also be presented.
UNESCO Brasilia



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