What is Philosophy?
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras (c. 570 – 495 BCE). Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation.
The separation of philosophy and science from theology began in Greece during the 6th century BC. Thales, an astronomer and mathematician, was considered by Aristotle to be the first philosopher of the Greek tradition. While Pythagoras coined the word, the first known elaboration on the topic was conducted by Plato.
Socrates of Athens (l. c. 470/469-399 BCE) is among the most famous figures in world history for his contributions to the development of ancient Greek philosophy which provided the foundation for all of Western Philosophy. He is, in fact, known as the “Father of Western Philosophy”
World Philosophy Day
World Philosophy Day annually observed on the third Thursday of November to honor philosophical reflections around the world. It is a day for people to share thoughts, openly explore and discuss new ideas and inspire public debate or discussion on society’s challenges
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.
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.