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Message from the UNESCO Director Audrey Azoulay on the occasion of the World Philosophy Day

World Philosophy Day
16 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.

In order to build a better world, to move towards an ideal of peace, we know that we must adopt a philosophical approach – namely, we must question the flaws of our world, beyond the tumult of crises. Philosophy is therefore essential when it comes to defining the ethical principles that should guide humanity (...).

Audrey Azoulay
UNESCO Director-General


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