On the third Thursday of November every year, World Philosophy Day is observed. This year, the day is observed today, 18 November. The day promotes an academic exchange of philosophy for the development of human thought.
World Philosophy Day was initially established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 21 November 2002. The day was recognized in order to praise and universalize the teachings of philosophy. The aim was also to raise a certain level of awareness in the world around the importance of philosophy.
In the year 2005, UNESCO General Conference declared World Philosophy Day, mentioning that it will be celebrated on the third Thursday of November every year.
Philosophy stems from Philosophia, a Greek word which actually means the ‘love of wisdom'. The study of reality and existence, along with the nature of human thought, is necessary as it constitutes the essence of life.
The philosophical exchange of thought along with respect for global diversity is encouraged through the observance of World Philosophy Day. UNESCO also believes that philosophy forms the basis of human rights, equality, democracy and justice, the values responsible for maintaining world peace.
The field is not only seen as a form of creative thought but also gives birth to several concepts and ideas. A philosophical approach to life contributes towards self-reflection. It serves as a mirror in understanding well-established truths and also helps us to arrive at conclusions.
The discipline of philosophy also fosters global interactions, dialogue and has the ability to bring significant changes in society. Facilitation and respect of diverse culture is also learned through philosophical discourses.
This year, World Philosophy Day will celebrate "different interactions of human beings in their social, cultural, geographical and political environment." The objective behind celebrating the significance of philosophy within a society is to understand that the subject is a crucial part of contemporary society and to also access its changing dynamics amidst a global pandemic.