World Philosophy Day is Next Thursday: What Are Your / Your Department’s Plans?

World Philosophy Day is the third Thursday of November—that’s next Thursday, the 17th.

[Photograph by Thomas Pesquet]

Created by the Educational, Scientific, and Cultural organization of the United Nations (UNESCO), World Philosophy Day celebrates “the enduring value of philosophy for the development of human thought, for each culture and for each individual.” UNESCO says:

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.

The theme of this year’s World Philosophy Day is “The Human of the Future”. UNESCO has collaborated with Le Fresnoy – National Studio of Contemporary Arts to put on a symposium and exhibition on the theme from November 16th through 18th, which will be webcasted live. For details, see this page.

Departments and individuals may want to arrange events to coincide with the day, or take advantage of the holiday to help promote philosophy at their schools. If you have plans to do so, or have held such events in the past, or have ideas about what to, please share them in the comments.

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1 year ago

The marketing arm of my university wants to make a 60-second (max) TikTok video in which four students respond to a question and give a brief reason for their response. It can be the same question for each student, or different questions. Topic can be thought-inspiring or fun. I’m tasked with coming up with the question(s). HELP I AM NOT CREATIVE LIKE THIS!

Emma Swinn
Reply to  Nick
1 year ago

Why don’t you try something simple to begin with: why did you choose to do philosophy at University? Or perhaps you could go in with some philosophy questions, from the sublime to the ridiculous:

Does the hole in a doughnut exist?
Can you think of nothing?
Are you free?
Does tomorrow exist?
What do you want most: wealth, fame, power or love?

(the last two are from David Birch’s book Pandora’s Box I believe)

On our website there is a film about why our philosophers did philosophy as an example for you…whether it’s entertaining or not is up to you!

Reply to  Emma Swinn
1 year ago

Emma, thank you for these suggestions. They made the task very manageable! I asked my students which would be best, and they went with the doughnut hole. This led to a (fun!) series of questions, and my university shared the result today. Here it is, in case you (or others) are interested:

Emma Swinn
1 year ago

We’re doing this on World Philosophy Day 2022:

Tauya Chinama
1 year ago

For us in Zimbabwe our theme is “Philosophical Reflections on Pandemics and Women in Africa” we shall have a two day conference at University of Zimbabwe. For more information got hold of me on +263772350744 or [email protected]

1 year ago

At Tarleton State University we’re doing an Ian Olasov-style “ask a philosopher booth” in the middle of campus, and two “Intro to Philosophy” sections are presenting posters on applying philosophical ideas to issues that college students face.