UNESCO has always cooperated closely with philosophers, its programme being based on sophisticated values and concepts. Philosophers have helped to refine them and to turn them into concrete projects. UNESCO’s philosophy programme today focuses on the general public, especially on students and young people. UNESCO’s message is that philosophy focuses on asking good questions, rather than providing answers. Philosophy thus can play an important role in everybody’s life.
Today’s “knowledge societies” do not only hinge on the technical knowledge of the individual, but on his/her ability to devise of new and unconventional conceptual frameworks based on posing questions.
World Philosophy Day
Since 2002, UNESCO celebrates World Philosophy Day every third Thursday in November. A central event is co-organized by UNESCO every year in another country and many hundred events take place around the globe. Since 2007, DUK has made great efforts to establish World Philosophy Day in Germany. In 2009, more than 30 events took place at universities and schools all over the country. The European UNESCO Chair in Philosophy at the University of Bremen has organized symposia to commemorate the day already each year since 2004.
Philosophy - A School of Freedom
In 2007, UNESCO has published the study "Philosophy: A School of Freedom" that compares philosophy teaching worldwide - from preschool to universities to practices outside the formal educational system. The DUK in 2008 produced an own publication that focuses especially on philosophizing with children. It contains a translation of the first chapter of UNESCO's study that deals with Philosophy in pre- and primary school and contributions of the most eminent German experts in this field.