On World Philosophy Day, UN lauds role of dialogue, diversity in multicultural world

21 November 2014 | Press Releases

Paris, 20 November 2014 – The head the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today marked the twelfth edition of World Philosophy Day with a widespread appeal for dialogue in diversity, adding that only by embracing the intellectual pluralism of our global society can the foundations of a truly global community be laid.

Sculpture "The Thinker" by Auguste Rodin. World Philosophy Day takes place every November. Photo: Hans Andersen

Sculpture “The Thinker” by Auguste Rodin. World Philosophy Day takes place every November. Photo: Hans Andersen

“Philosophy is an invaluable ally that draws on reflexive reasoning and engagement in dialogue, to open our minds to a wide variety of opinions and views,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in her messasge for the Day, which this year in on the theme “Social Transformations and Intercultural Dialogue.”

“Such a shift of focus is crucial in a world of rising diversity,” Ms. Bokova continued. “This is both the foundation on which tolerance and peace rest and a means of releasing the creative energy that drives societies forward, while respecting human rights.

World Philosophy Day has been observed every third Thursday of November since 2002, with the aim of making philosophical reflection accessible to all – professors and students, scholars and the general public – thereby enlarging the opportunities and spaces for the stimulation of critical thinking and debate.

This year, the Day is being celebrated with a number of events, including roundtables, debates and concerts, held in Paris, where UNESCO is headquartered, and at other venues around the world.

In addition, a roundtable discussion in Paris will see the launch of the Philosophy Manual, a South-South Perspective which UNESCO describes as an innovative tool designed to facilitate the discovery of philosophical texts from Africa, the Arab region, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean, while also promoting their full understanding through a critical apparatus which enables easily adapted educational use.