World Philosophy Day

World Philosophy Day is observed on the third Thursday in November and is a holiday on which the discipline of philosophy is recognized and appreciated for its contributions to human thought, culture, and society. It is also a day on which the national and international commitment to philosophy is renewed, and the importance of the universalization of philosophical teaching for future generations is emphasized.

The History of World Philosophy Day

This holiday was created in 2005 after the UNESCO General Conference issued a proclamation that officially established the holiday. However, the holiday had been celebrated even before that because UNESCO had been observing it since 2002.

Some Interesting Facts on Famous Philosophers & Philosophy

Want some interesting facts to reflect on while you’re celebrating World Philosophy Day? If you do, then you may want to check out some of the facts we’ve pulled together. Some of them are thought-provoking, and some of them are ridiculous, but they’re all entertaining.

  • Chrysippus died of laughter after laughing at his own joke.
  • The Greek philosopher Anaximander was one of the first people to realize that the Earth could not be flat in 560 BCE.
  • Socrates was considered the ugliest philosopher in all of Athens.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche was labeled clinically insane for a period of 11 years during his life.
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein threatened a visiting colleague with a red-hot poker at the University of Cambridge in 1946.
  • Bertrand Russell was imprisoned in 1918 by the British government for campaigning against conscription and the war.
  • Kurt Gödel starved himself to death because he thought that his food was being poisoned.
  • The philosopher Hypatia was stripped, beaten, dragged through the streets, mutilated, and burned by a Christian mob.
  • Jean-Paul Sartre declined the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964.
  • The Roman Emperor Nero ordered the philosopher Seneca to commit suicide.
  • Pythagoras forbade his followers from eating beans.

Observing World Philosophy Day

Anyone wishing to observe this holiday can do so simply by reading a book on philosophy or by using the hashtag #WorldPhilosophyDay. Taking the time to read about some of the giants of philosophy, including Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Confucius, and Francis Bacon, is also a good idea. It’s also a good day to consider taking a philosophy course at your local community college.

When is it?
This year (2024)
November 21 Thursday
Next year (2025)
November 20 Thursday
Last year (2023)
November 16 Thursday
Awareness & Cause, Education & Reading, United Nations