Unesco World Philosophy Day in Tehran? NO thanks
Resetdoc presents itself and a protest 13 September 2010

New School of Social Research – New Wolfe Conference Room
Room 1103
6 East 16th Street,
New York, NY 10003

Monday, September 27, 2010 – 11.00 am

Presentation: Giancarlo Bosetti, Ramin Jahanbegloo, 
Nina zu Fürstenberg, Andrew Arato (chair)

Discussion: Farzin Vahdat, Simon Critchley, Nadia Urbinati, Saskia Sassen, Hamid Dabashi

The date of the World Philosophy Day (21-23 November) is approaching and nothing seems to prevent that  this prestigious global appointment will happen to be held in Tehran. The World Philosophy Day is an invaluable occasion of encounter and dialogue among philosophers and thinkers of different cultures and backgrounds, as our Association experienced in Morocco and in Turkey. The very idea to gather them in a country where an authoritarian and intolerant regime is continuously violating the freedom of thought and expression and banning humanities from universities, is a challenge to every reasonable and plausible principle of dialogue, universality and openness (which used to be the original and essential characters of the World Philosophy Day). In these conditions – who’s selecting the participants? What guaranties of liberty and security for the speakers? – the UNESCO’s initiative is turning into the opposite of what it should be.  The list of defections is confirming the warning we sent already last January to the general director of the UNESCO, Mrs. Irina Bokova. No one can take seriously today an invitation to Tehran for a free philosophical discussion. Postponing this event in Iran to a future date can be the only way to preserve the universality of its initiative and of its mission.

Our protest started with a letter that three of us, on behalf of the Association (Giuliano Amato, president of the Scientific Committee of Reset-Dialogues, Giancarlo Bosetti, editor in chief of Reset magazine, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Iranian philosopher) sent to the director of the Unesco (below the text) last January. The letter received many adhesions and supports, among which:

Jürgen Habermas
Seyla Benhabib
Nadia Urbinati
Andrew Arato
Jean Cohen
Jim Sleeper
Otfried Höffe
Fred Dallmayr
Karel von Schwarzenberg
Navid Kermani
Valentine M. Moghadam
Nader Hashemi
Joseph LaPalombara
Teresa Chataway
Mariateresa Fumagalli Beonio Brocchieri
Pietro Marcenaro, senatore Pd
Luigi Spaventa
Salvatore Biasco, Università Sapienza di Roma
On.le Marco Scurria (PPE Delegazione Italiana)
Katajun Amirpur
Alessandro Ferrara
Gianfranco Pasquino



Please consider giving a tax-free donation to Reset this year

Any amount will help show your support for our activities

In Europe and elsewhere
(Reset DOC)

In the US
(Reset Dialogues)