Philosophy for All Ages for World Philosophy Day (guest post by Emma Worley)

World Philosophy Day is coming up this Thursday. In this guest post*, Emma Worley co-founder and co-CEO of The Philosophy Foundation, shares her organization’s plans to bring philosophy to the public that day.

Philosophy for All Ages for World Philosophy Day
by Emma Worley

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.

In the middle of a global pandemic, why should we care about World Philosophy Day?

UNESCO say “The 2020 edition wishes to invite the whole world to reflect on the meaning of the current pandemic, underlining the need, more than ever before, to resort to philosophical reflection in order to face the multiple crises we are going through.”

“The health crisis questions multiple aspects of our societies. In this context, philosophy helps us to take the necessary distance to better move forward, by stimulating critical reflection on problems that are already present but which the pandemic has pushed to their paroxysm.”

The Philosophy Foundation are running a day of events on 19th November which will provide the space for all ages to reflect, discuss and debate.

There are philosophical enquiries being run by specialist philosophy teachers for children aged 5-7; 8-11; 12-15 and 16+ adult in the morning, afternoon and early evening.

And they are bringing philosophers to a virtual world so you can ask them questions, either live in the virtual space, or via social media with the #askaphilosopher. Part game, part virtual reality, build your own avatar and ask philosophers questions. Or play football with them.

From 9am-10am the following philosophers will be available to answer any of your questions, or engage in discussion with you: Buddha, Siger of Brabant, Mary Astell, Nietzsche. From 3-4pm the virtual world will be filled with Plato, Wollstonecraft (ready to take questions about her statue!)  Kazimierz Twadowski and David Wallace (not played by the actual David Wallace but another world one), and finally in the evening from 7-8pm you can meet Avicenna, Shakespeare, Wittgenstein and Kant. Socrates, Epicurus and Heraclitus will be around too at various points in the day.

All these philosophers are played by experts—we have Angie Hobbs playing Plato, Peter Adamson being Avicenna, Stephen Law is Wittgenstein, Peter Worley Socrates, Simone Webb (Philosopher Queens) is Mary Astell and Andy Day—whose play Also Sprach  Zarathustra was on Radio 4 last weekend—is Nietzsche.

Tickets are £1 per event, £5 for the whole day, or free if you need them to be (just email [email protected] for the free code).

So, get your avatars ready to engage in philosophy and football.

Find out more and get your tickets here.

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