World Philosophical Forum Malaysia World Philosophical Forum Malaysia

World Philosophy Day 2018 Annual global all-human celebration

Background

Historically it is adopted worldwide that Philosophy is the science, which studies the nature of reality and all-around existence, defines the minimum of human knowledge, which every inhabitant on the planet should learn and know, and recommend to everyone on the Earth how to behave in a due way to make others happy. Thus, Philosophy is the science how to live together. This notion came from the Greek word phílosophía, meaning 'the love of wisdom'. Since then it became one of the most important fields of human thought and knowledge as it aspires to get at the very meaning of Being and Life.

Taking into consideration the above, 16 years ago UNESCO (the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) introduced World Philosophy Day for everyone’s celebration, at first, in 2002, as UNESCO Philosophy Day with the following objectives:

  1. To renew and keep on the sub-regional, regional, national, international and supranational commitment to Philosophy;
  2. 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;
  3. To raise public awareness of the importance of Philosophy and its critical and practical use in the choices arising for many societies from the effects of globalization or entry into modernity;
  4. To appraise the state of Philosophy teaching throughout the world, with special emphasis on unequal access;
  5. To underline the importance of the universalization of Philosophy teaching for future generations..

In 2005 the UNESCO General Conference proclaimed that World Philosophy Day would be celebrated every third Thursday of November. They declared: “There is no UNESCO without Philosophy”. At the same time the General Conference approved for the first time since its establishment “UNESCO Strategy on Philosophy”.

For year 2018, the World Philosophy Day comes on November 15. By celebrating this event each year in November, UNESCO underlines the enduring value of Philosophy for the development of human thought, for each culture and for each individual, for each inhabitant of the Earth. UNESCO has always been closely linked to Philosophy, mostly not to scholastic, speculative or normative pseudo-philosophy, but to ideas of critical questioning and practical use, which enables it to give meaning to life and action in the international context.

In establishing World Philosophy Day in 2005, UNESCO’s 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”.

Ex-Secretary-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova stated: "Faced with the complexity of today’s world, philosophical reflection is above all a call to humility, to take a step back and engage in reasoned dialogue, to build together the solutions to challenges that are beyond our control. This is the best way to educate enlightened citizens, equipped to fight stupidity and prejudice. The greater the difficulties encountered the greater the need for philosophy to make sense of questions of peace and sustainable development.

World Philosophy Day provides an opportunity to underline once more the importance of critical thinking and practical usage to understanding changes in contemporary society. Change forces us to find new ways of living together and building fairer societies, but it can also erode trust and spark tension. In these circumstances, Philosophy is an invaluable ally that draws on reflexive reasoning and engagement in dialogue, to open our minds to a wide variety of opinions and views. Such a shift of focus is crucial in a world of rising diversity. This is both the foundation on which tolerance and peace rest and a means of releasing the creative energy that drives societies forward, while respecting human rights and fulfilling human and civil duties.

If, by speaking and expressing their view of the world, people change the world to better, then dialogue is the means by which people find significance in this. There is no genuine Philosophy without dialogue and, in a globalized world, dialogue must embrace the diverse strands of wisdom that have influenced people throughout history and which are not always sufficiently detailed or documented in conventional textbooks. It is this genuine intellectual and philosophical pluralism that will enable us to identify the best viewpoints for the future. By initiating pupils, teachers and the public in the diversity of these traditions, we can lay the foundations for a global community. I hope that the manual will inspire younger generations of students and teachers and I call on all Member States and our partners to support this initiative and all others that help us to reflect on philosophy with others. This is the spirit of wisdom that UNESCO will continue to promote in order to construct the defenses of peace in the minds of men and women, in accordance with its Constitution”.

Another very important question that UNESCO has started to promote simultaneously in this connection at present is fostering of Global citizenship.

That is why, for World Philosophical Forum supporters, the World Philosophy Day was always and will be in the future the event that gives the opportunity for true thinkers to spread the healthy scientific ideas among philosophically uneducated people. At the same time, to celebrate the World Philosophy Day properly, in a due way have certain difficulties that happen and arise from one historical act, which many people until now do not know and not realize.

This uncertainty comes from the fact that now on the Earth there are two versions of philosophy. One – classical, scientific-practical Philosophy that was created in Ancient Greece by the most famous philosophers: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Unfortunately, those healthy and wise ideas of the true Philosophy were prohibited in 529 A.C. by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, as the word ‘philosophy‘ itself, and only 12 centuries later a quite different, scholastic philosophy, based not on wisdom, but on logic, appeared, and which is being introduced now as the genuine one, and is studied nowadays practically in all world universities. For sure, it is neither scientific, nor practical at all. It is far from true and actual human needs and interests, from everyday practice. Due to its wrong teachings and abstract discourses, Humanity has at present so many unsolved problems, but being too far from everyday practice, the scholastic philosophy cannot offer to humanity any practical solutions.

World Philosophical Forum since its establishment 9 years ago is trying to direct all its activity to revive classical, scientific-practical Philosophy and promote the UN ideas about Global citizenship into reality as the only way for Humanity to survive. Atomic scientists, Nobel Laureates, have decreased already for 2018 the time till the Doomsday to only two symbolic minutes.

Therefore, taking into account all the above, it looks very encouraging that WPF Malaysian National Branch activists took the outstanding decision to present in 2018 the example and show to other countries, how Humanity should celebrate annually the World Philosophy Day in a due way. Having it in mind, all Humanity on the whole planet should follow in future the ‘Malaysian 2018 example’ and to use this experience of the Day celebration worldwide.

Another outstanding initiative of WPF Malaysian Branch worth to be mentioned is fostering Global citizenship within Malaysian nation in maximum short period. This initiative can make Malaysia as the prime initial part of the Universal State of the Earth, to which other countries would be willing to join to be in line with natural humanity’s Evolution, because this is the only way how to save Humanity itself and Life on the Earth generally, to bring universal peace and prosperity to all inhabitants of our planet.

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