WORLD PHILOSOPHY DAY
Every third Thursday in November, World Philosophy Day promotes the intellectual culture of philosophical debate that respects dignity and diversity. The day also encourages academic exchange, highlighting the role philosophy plays in addressing global issues.
The word philosophy comes from the Greek word, phílosophía. This word means the love of wisdom. Philosophy is a field of human thought that gets at the meaning of life. Everyone is encouraged to be a student of philosophy. Studying philosophy helps students academically and throughout their lives. They will write more clearly and be better equipped to answer questions asked by potential employers. But they will also be able to spot faulty reasoning.
UNESCO points to these five objectives for World Philosophy Day:
- Renew the global commitment to philosophy
- Use philosophy to respond more effectively to challenges facing humanity
- Raise awareness about the importance of philosophy
- Assess the value in teaching philosophy as a way to decrease unequal access
- Underline the importance of teaching philosophy to future generations
UNESCO hopes that emphasizing philosophy will encourage world leaders to work together. Global collaboration is crucial for overcoming major global challenges. For example, philosophy can address migration, environmental change, and artificial intelligence.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldPhilosophyDay
Global events for this day include holding philosophical debates, discussions, and meetings with renowned philosophers. International conferences, book fairs, and exhibits are also held.
To take part:
- Study some of the world’s most famous philosophers including Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Confucius, Thomas Aquinas, and Francis Bacon.
- Think about the influence the field of philosophy has on your life and in the world.
- Read philosophy books: The Republic, A History of Western Philosophy, Beyond Good and Evil, Lao Tsu: Tao Te Ching, and The Brothers Karamazov.
- Watch movies with philosophical themes: The Truman Show, Fight Club, The Matrix, and Lost in Translation.
- Get into a philosophical debate in person or over social media (if you dare).
- Ask yourself philosophical questions that will make you think. Examples include, “Can memories be erased?” “What is happiness?” “Will stricter laws make a better world?”
Share your philosophical thoughts on social media. Don’t forget to share with #WorldPhilosophyDay.
WORLD PHILOSOPHY DAY HISTORY
UNESCO introduced World Philosophy Day in 2002. During the 2005 General Conference, UNESCO proclaimed that World Philosophy Day be celebrated every third Thursday of November.