World Congress of Philosophy

The World Congress of Philosophy (originally known as the International Conference of Philosophy) is a global meeting of philosophers held every five years under the auspices of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP). First organized in 1900, these events became firmly established after the Second World War. Each World Congress is sponsored by one of the member societies in a different country, which assumes responsibility for the organization of that Congress. The purpose of these events is to contribute to the development of professional relations between philosophers of all countries, promote philosophical education, and contribute to the impact of philosophical knowledge on global problems. The next World Congress of Philosophy is to be held in Beijing in 2018.[1]

List of congresses

# Date congress Country Host
1st 1900 Paris,  France
2nd 1904 Geneva,   Switzerland
3rd 31 August–5 September 1908 Heidelberg,  Germany
4th 1911 Bologna,  Italy
5th 1924 Naples,  Italy
6th 13–17 September 1926 Boston,  United States
7th 1–6 September 1930 Oxford,  United Kingdom
8th 1934 Prague,  Czech Republic
9th 1938 Paris,  France
10th 11–18 August 1948 Amsterdam,  Netherlands
11th 20–26 August 1953 Brussels,  Belgium
12th 12–18 September 1958 Venice,  Italy
13th 7–14 September 1963 Mexico City,  Mexico
14th 2–9 September 1968 Vienna,  Austria
15th 1973 Varna,  Bulgaria
16th 1978 Düsseldorf,  Germany
17th August 1983 Montreal,  Canada
18th 1988 Brighton,  United Kingdom
19th 1993 Moscow,  Russia[2]
20th 1998 Boston,  United States[3]
21st 2003 Istanbul,  Turkey[4][5] İoanna Kuçuradi  Turkey
22nd 30 July – 5 August 2008 Seoul,  South Korea[2] Peter Kemp  Denmark
23rd 4–10 August 2013 Athens,  Greece[6] Konstantinos Boudouris  Greece
24th 13–20 August 2018 Beijing,  China

The first International Congress of Philosophy was held in Paris in 1900 on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition. Among the participants were Henri Bergson, Maurice Blondel, Moritz Cantor, Louis Couturat, Henri Poincaré, and Bertrand Russell. The second International Congress took place in Geneva in 1904; the third was held in Heidelberg in 1908 (with Josiah Royce, Wilhelm Windelband and Benedetto Croce). The First World War interrupted the sequence of these events after the 4th International Congress in Bologna in 1911.

Thereafter these congresses were held in Naples (1924), Cambridge, USA (1926), Oxford, UK (1930), Prague (1934), and Paris (1937). The next International Congress of Philosophy was held in 1948, and these events have been held every five years under FISP sponsorship ever since. Recent congresses have taken place in Brighton (1988), Moscow (1993), Boston (1988), Istanbul (2003), Seoul (2008), and Athens (2013). The event became known as the World Congress of Philosophy in 1973.[7]

The 20th World Congress

Thousands of philosophers from dozens of countries participated in the week-long event in Boston sponsored by the International Federation of Philosophical Societies. An edited selection of the papers presented were published as The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy in twelve thematically organized volumes by the Philosophy Documentation Center, in cooperation with the Congress's American Organizing Committee. All papers are available online at the Paideia Archives.[8] The topics of the volumes include:

  1. Ethics;
  2. Metaphysics;
  3. Philosophy of Education;
  4. Philosophies of Religion, Art, and Creativity;
  5. Epistemology;
  6. Analytic Philosophy & Logic;
  7. Modern Philosophy;
  8. Contemporary Philosophy;
  9. Philosophy of Mind;
  10. Philosophy of Science;
  11. Social and Political Philosophy;
  12. Intercultural Philosophy.

These Proceedings were edited by Jaakko Hintikka, Robert Cummings Neville, Ernest Sosa, and Alan M. Olson. Notable contributors include Pierre Aubenque, Evandro Agazzi, Karl-Ott Apel, Natalia Avtonomova, Arindam Chakrabarti, Chung-ying Cheng, Daniel Dennett, Fred Dretske, Jorge J.E. Gracia, Marjorie Grene, Adolf Grünbaum, Jaakko Hintikka, Ted Honderich, Ioanna Kucuradi, Hans Lenk, Alasdair MacIntyre, C. Ulises Moulines, W. V. Quine, Gunnar Skirbekk, Vyachevslav Stepin, P. F. Strawson, Olúfémi Táíwò, Georg Henrik von Wright, Linda Zagzebski, Ernesto Gustavo Edwards, and Alicia Mónica Pintus.[9]

The 21st World Congress

The 21st World Congress was held in Istanbul August 10–17, 2003 and had the theme "Philosophy Facing World Problems". There were symposia on:

Edited selections of the papers presented at this meeting were published by the Philosophical Society of Turkey. These Proceedings include the following 13 thematic volumes:

  1. Ethics;
  2. Social and Political Philosophy;
  3. Human Rights;
  4. Philosophy of Education;
  5. Logic and Philosophy of Sciences;
  6. Epistemology;
  7. Philosophy and Culture(s);
  8. Philosophy of Religion;
  9. Philosophical Anthropology;
  10. Ancient and Modern Philosophy;
  11. Contemporary Philosophy;
  12. Philosophical Trends in the 20th Century; and
  13. Philosophy Facing World Problems.

The collections is accessible online in cooperation with the Philosophy Documentation Center.[10]

The 22nd World Congress

The 22nd World Congress took place in Seoul, South Korea from July 30 to August 5, 2008 at the Seoul National University. The main theme of the conference was "Rethinking Philosophy Today, and there were four plenary sessions:

The International Program Committee was chaired by Gilbert Hottois.[11] Over 1,200 paper were presented at this Congress, and the Korean Philosophical Association published all of the contributed papers as an eBook in DVD format edited by Prof. Myung-Hyun Lee.[12] This collection is notable for its inclusion of papers in the seven official languages of the congress: English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Korean, French, and German.[13] It has also been made available online in cooperation with the Philosophy Documentation Center Invited papers were published separately as a special supplement to the Journal of Philosophical Research.[14]

The 23rd World Congress

The 23rd World Congress took place in Athens, Greece August 04–10, 2013 at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. The main theme of the conference was "Philosophy as inquiry and way of life", and there were four plenary sessions:

Chair: Evandro Agazzi (Italy/Mexico) Speakers: Souleymane Bachir Diagne (Senegal/USA), Dagfinn Føllesdall (Norway), John McDowell (South Africa/United States)

Chair: Maria Carla Galavotti (Italy) Speakers: Susan Haack (USA), Alberto Cordero (Peru/United States), Keiichi Noe (Japan)

Chair: Juliana González (Mexico) Speakers: Alexander Nehamas (Greece/USA), Chen Lai (China)

Chair: Hans Lenk (Germany) Speakers: Seyla Benhabib (USA), Abdussalam Guseinov (Russia), Abdolkarim Soroush (Iran)

A selection of invited papers from this Congress was published in 2015.[15]


  1. 1st Circular, 24th World Congress (English)
  2. 1 2 WCP 2008 Website
  3. Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy
  4. Philosophy Now The 21st World Congress of Philosophy
  5. Address on WCP 2003 Website
  6. WCP 2013 Website
  7. World Congress of Philosophy Collection, accessed 16 January 2016]
  8. "Paideia Archives"
  9. Proceeedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy
  10. Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy
  11. WCP International Committees
  12. Proceedings of the Twenty-Second World Congress of Philosophy DVD, accessed 7 October 2012
  13. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy online, accessed 7 October 2012
  14. Selected Papers from the XXII World Congress of Philosophy, Journal of Philosophical Research, accessed 7 October 2012
  15. Selected Papers from the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy, Journal of Philosophical Research, accessed 16 January 2016
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