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Philosophy, Cultural Diversity, and Rapprochement of Cultures – World Philosophy Day, 18 November 2010

“Philosophers have interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.” A quotation by Karl Marx kicks off a celebration of World Philosophy Day on November 18th 2010 at UNESCO Bangkok. A panel of four guest speakers and various enquiring minds gathered on invitation by the Regional Unit for Social and Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific, UNESCO Bangkok, to discuss philosophy in an informal workshop, with the objective to increase the opportunities for critical thinking and debate. All participants took turns reciting a favorite philosophical quotation from their home country, followed by interpretation and reflection. An ongoing initiative since 2002, more than 80 countries organized celebrations of ‘World Philosophy Day’ in different regions of the world. “As the defenses of peace must be constructed in people’s minds, it is our duty to work to strengthen those minds through critical thought and mutual understanding,” says Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, in a message outlining the significance of this day.

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