Philosophy is the study of the nature of reality and existence, of what is possible to know, and of right and wrong behavior. It comes from the Greek word phílosophía, meaning 'the love of wisdom.' It is one of the most important fields of human thought as it aspires to get at the very meaning of life.
World Philosophy Day was introduced in 2002 by UNESCO (the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) with the following objectives:
- to renew the national, subregional, regional and international commitment to philosophy;
- to foster philosophical analysis, research and studies on major contemporary issues, so as to respond more effectively to the challenges that are confronting humanity today;
- to raise public awareness of the importance of philosophy and its critical use in the choices arising for many societies from the effects of globalization or entry into modernity;
- to appraise the state of philosophy teaching throughout the world, with special emphasis on unequal access;
- to underline the importance of the universalization of philosophy teaching for future generations.
The 2019 edition aims to highlight the importance of philosophy in different regional contexts. The goal is to obtain regional contributions to global debates on contemporary challenges that support social transformations. The purpose of this approach is to foster regional dynamics, stimulating global collaboration to address major challenges such as migration, radicalization, environmental change, or artificial intelligence.
Why do we mark International Days?
International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. More information available here.