World Philosophy Day

World Philosophy Day Quick Facts - US

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2024 DateNovember 21, 2024
2025 DateNovember 20, 2025

World Philosophy Day

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World Philosophy Day History

World Philosophy Day promotes the importance of philosophical thinking and dialogue as critical tools for navigating the challenges of our world. This United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) initiative aims to facilitate intercultural understanding and respect, as well as fostering a culture of peace, by encouraging philosophers and individuals to engage in open discourse. The observance highlights the power of philosophy to help individuals make sense of their lives, the world around them, and their relationships with others.

The concept of World Philosophy Day originated from UNESCO's 2002 General Conference, with the first observance taking place in 2005. Though it is an international event, World Philosophy Day holds particular relevance for the people in America as a reminder of the country's philosophical foundations. The United States Declaration of Independence and its Constitution were heavily influenced by the works of philosophers such as John Locke and Montesquieu. Moreover, the American tradition of free speech and open discourse is an essential element of philosophical inquiry, allowing diverse voices to participate in debates and discussions that shape society.

In America, World Philosophy Day is observed through various events and initiatives, such as lectures, workshops, conferences, and roundtable discussions. Educational institutions, cultural organizations, and community groups come together to organize activities that inspire reflection and dialogue amongst people of all ages and backgrounds. These events aim to promote philosophical inquiry and empower citizens with the critical thinking skills needed to participate effectively in civic life. World Philosophy Day is celebrated annually on the third Thursday of November.

World Philosophy Day facts

  • Rene Descartes is considered to be the father of modern Western philosophy. He is widely credited with being the first to use the concept of reason to develop the natural sciences. He lived from 1596 to 1650.
  • Thales of Miletus is widely considered to be the father of philosophy. He was a Greek philosopher, mathematician and astronomer that lived around 624-546BC.
  • Truth in philosophy means that concept and external reality correspond. – George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, a German philosopher of the late enlightenment period.

Top things to do in the US for World Philosophy Day

  • Raise awareness on social media by using the tags #WorldPhilosophyDay, #PhilosophyDay and #PhilosophyandCooperation
  • Tune in to the live webcast of the philosophical debates on UNESCO’s website. It can be streamed in French or English at the UNESCO site.
  • Watch a movie that touches on philosophy. Some suggestions are: The Matrix (1999), Blade Runner (1982) and Being There (1979).
  • Donate to the Philosophy Foundation. Any money raised is put towards providing specialist teachers to schools that need it most, but can’t afford it. The organization aims to support young people in higher education studying philosophy.
  • Read a book on philosophy. Some suggestions are: Plato’s Republic, Critique of Pure Reason and A History of Western Philosophy.

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