Thursday, November 16, 2006

Reflect and Celebrate on November 16, World Philosophy Day & International Day for Tolerance

© Photo: Mohamed Bannani

World Philosophy Day - celebrated each year on the third Thursday in November – falls this year on the same day as the International Day for Tolerance, 16 November. Today is thus an excellent day to join events worldwide and celebrate this UNESCO initiative. The idea behind the initiative was to encourage people in different parts of the world to share their particular philosophy with others and to open up their ways of thinking to new ideas, while fostering public debate among intellectuals and civil society on the challenges now facing our societies.

Until tomorrow, November 17, special celebrations will take place in Rabat, Morocco to honor the event. Events such as an opening lecture on “Philosophy and the condition of the modern world”, a Philosophy Café, a book fair and art exhibition will be organized alongside the round tables, as well as an Interregional Philosophical Dialogue: Asia and the Arab World.

Countries in all regions of the world will be organizing events in celebration of World Philosophy Day. >>Events in the World
>> Click here for a more detailed look at the World Philosophy Day program.

At UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, two international seminars and an exhibit will be held throughout the week until November 18. Topics for discussion are “A century with Levinas: Levinas-Blanchot, thinking the difference” and “Philosophy as a cultural and educational practice: a new citizenship”. Philippe Maurice’s paintings and a dramatic “Installation” by the Collectif fragmentaliste entitled “From the Fragment to the Series” will add a visual dimension to the seminars.

If you are in New York, you may want to attend the celebrations organized and hosted by St. John Fisher College, Pittsford, NY. Events are free and open to the public. Today’s sessions
are scheduled through 9 p.m. Topics include “Philosophy and Education,” “Philosophy and Science Fiction,” “Philosophy in Popular Culture,” “Philosophy and Communication,” “Philosophy and the Creative Arts,” “Philosophy and the Emotions,” and “Philosophy in the 21st Century.”


In celebration of International Day for Tolerance, the 2006 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence will be awarded at a ceremony to take place at 6 p.m at UNESCO Paris.

This Prize was established thanks to UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Madanjeet Singh, to mark the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandi. The Prize is presented every two years to individuals or institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements in the promotion of tolerance and non-violence.
The 2006 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize will be awarded to Veerasingham Anandasangaree from Sri Lanka, President of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF). A tireless defender of democracy and peaceful conflict resolution, Veerasingham Anandasangaree has helped improve knowledge of the Tamul cause, through dialogue, through the promotion of non-violent solutions in Sri Lanka and by taking a stand against terrorism.

If travelling or living in one of those countries, don’t miss:

  • The Conference on "Interregional Philosophical Dialogues: Asia and the Arab world – encounters with modernity” to be held November 17-18 in Rabat, Morocco
  • 21st Century Talks: What future is there for humankind? What future for the planet? to be held 25 November at UNESCO, Paris.

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