World Philosophy Day 2012: "Future Generations"

14 November 2012

"The practice of philosophy is a process benefitting the whole of society. It helps to build bridges between peoples and cultures ..."

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.

In 2012, the World Philosophy Day will be held on Thursday, 15 November for the tenth time, with events being organized at the international, national and local levels. They will enable their participants to share a multitude of views and experiences, fully respecting cultural diversity, with regard to the main theme of the 2012 World Philosophy Day which is Future Generations.

For UNESCO, philosophy offers a cross-cutting reflection and analysis that should permeate all disciplines which aim to build a better understanding of our present world and develop adequate responses to challenges. Philosophers have a very important role in shedding light on contemporary challenges, especially when these relate to ethics and justice. We believe that critical thinking, foresight, and ethical judgment are invaluable ingredients for a healthy society. For this reason UNESCO strives to strengthen the philosophical perspective in all its programmes and fields of action.

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

On this Day of collective exercise in free, reasoned and informed thinking on the major challenges of our time, all of UNESCOs 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.

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