Celebrating World Philosophy Day – NOV 21

A-Celebration-of-Women-Feature-Banner-e1352628808407 (1) 512

AthensIMAGE

Philosophy Day at UNESCO

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 Day has been celebrated by UNESCO every year since 2002, on the third Thursday of November, both at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and other cities around the world. The General Conference of UNESCO established World Philosophy Day in 2005. UNESCO’s objective is to promote an international culture of philosophical debate that respects human dignity and diversity. The Day encourages academic exchange and highlights the contribution of philosophical knowledge in addressing global issues.

World Philosophy Day was introduced in 2002 by UNESCO to honour philosophical reflection in the entire world by opening up free and accessible spaces. Its objective is to encourage the peoples of the world to share their philosophical heritage and to open their minds to new ideas, as well as to inspire a public debate between intellectuals and civil society on the challenges confronting our society.

Why a Philosophy Day?

Many thinkers state that “astonishment” is the root of philosophy. Indeed, philosophy stems from humans’ natural tendency to be astonished by themselves and the world in which they live.

This field, which sees itself as a form of “wisdom”, teaches us to reflect on reflection itself, to continually question well-established truths, to verify hypotheses and to find conclusions.

For centuries, in every culture, philosophy has given birth to concepts, ideas and analyses, and, through this, has set down the basis for critical, independent and creative thought.

UNESCO’s Philosophy Day allowed this institution to celebrate, in particular, the importance of philosophical reflection, and to encourage people all over the world to share their philosophical heritage with each other.

For UNESCO, philosophy provides the conceptual bases of principles and values on which world peace depends: democracy, human rights, justice, and equality.

Philosophy helps consolidate these authentic foundations of peaceful coexistence.

Over seventy countries, including twenty-five in Africa, celebrated the first two Philosophy Days which offered everyone, regardless of their culture, the opportunity to think about different questions such as: “Who are we as individuals and as a world community?” It is up to us to reflect upon the state of the world and determine whether it corresponds to our ideals of justice and equality. It is up to us to ask ourselves whether our society is living according to the ethical and moral norms of our great Declarations.

This Philosophy Day thus provided us with the occasion to ask ourselves questions that are often forgotten: “What do we neglect to think about?” “Which intolerable realities do we get used to?”

Faced with the complexity of today’s world, philosophical reflection is above all a call to humility, to take a step back and engage in reasoned dialogue, to build together the solutions to challenges that are beyond our control. This is the best way to educate enlightened citizens, equipped to fight stupidity and prejudice. The greater the difficulties encountered the greater the need for philosophy to make sense of questions of peace and sustainable development.” ~ Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General

In establishing World Philosophy Day in 2005, the General Conference highlighted the importance of this discipline, especially for young people, underlining that “philosophy is a discipline that encourages critical and independent thought and is capable of working towards a better understanding of the world and promoting tolerance and peace ”.

UNESCO’s General Conference was convinced that “the institutionalization of Philosophy Day at UNESCO as world philosophy day would win recognition for and give strong impetus to philosophy and, in particular, to the teaching of philosophy in the world”.

UNESCO leads World Philosophy Day – but does not own it. It belongs to everyone, everywhere, who cares about philosophy.

World Philosophy Day!banner_philo_typo_enOn this Day of collective exercise in free, reasoned and informed thinking on the major challenges of our time, all of UNESCO’s partners (national governments, their public institutions and organizations, including National Commissions for UNESCO, relevant non-governmental organizations, associations, universities, institutes, schools, UNESCO/UNITWIN Chairs, Associated Schools and Clubs and so forth) 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.

An Unconventional History of Western Philosophy: Conversations Between Men and Women Philosophers

women philo bookGender scholarship during the last four decades has shown that the exclusion of women’s voices and perspectives has diminished academic disciplines in important ways. Traditional scholarship in philosophy is no different. The ‘recovery project’ in philosophy is engaged in re-discovering the names, lives, texts, and perspectives of women philosophers from the 6th Century BCE to the present.

Karen Warren brings together 16 colleagues for a unique, groundbreaking study of Western philosophy which combines pairs of leading men and women philosophers over the past 2600 years, acknowledging and evaluating their contributions to foundational themes in philosophy, including epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. Introductory essays, primary source readings, and commentaries comprise each chapter to offer a rich and accessible introduction to and evaluation of these vital philosophical contributions.

A helpful appendix canvasses an extraordinary number of women philosophers for further discovery and study.

“One day, that is the unit of time devoted to debates in which each and every person should feel free to participate according to his or her convictions”.

women philosopersAn important collection from the largely unknown writings of women philosophers of the early modern period. Each selection is prefaced by a headnote giving a biographical account of its author and setting the piece in historical context. Atherton’s Introduction provides a solid framework for assessing these works and their place in modern philosophy.

The Thinker (French: Le Penseur) is a bronze sculpture by Auguste Rodin, usually placed on a stone pedestal. The work shows a nude male figure at about life-size sitting on a rock with his chin resting on one hand as though deep in thought, and is often used as an image to represent philosophy. There are about 28 full size castings, in which the figure is about 186 centimetres (73 in) high, though not all were made during Rodin’s lifetime and under his supervision, as well as various other versions, several in plaster, studies, and posthumous castings, in a range of sizes. Rodin first conceived the figure as part of another work in 1880, but the first of the familiar monumental bronze castings did not appear until 1904.

the-thinkerMany places, that is our unit of space, because our common goal is also to enhance arguments and counterarguments not only in one agora but in all the parts of this big house that we invite you to come and discover every year.

Finally, a unity of action, of common action, to reaffirm the true value of philosophy, that is to say the establishment of dialogue that must never cease when it comes to essential matters, and of thought which gives us back a large part of human dignity whatever our condition.”

Moufida Goucha,
Former Chief of the Human Security, Democracy, and Philosophical Section
Address during the first World Philosophy Day at UNESCO in 2002

A-Celebration-of-Women-Feature-Banner-e1352628808407 (1) 512

Speak Your Mind

*

Copyright 2014 @ A Celebration of Women™ The World Hub for Women Leaders That Care