World Philosophy Day

Today (16 November 2017) marks one of the most important days in the Philosophy calendar which has been celebrated every year on the third Thursday in November since 2005.

UNESCO World Philosophy Day is a time for rational, reasoned reflection on life’s challenges and the human condition. Here at the University of Edinburgh we celebrate philosophy by taking to heart its origin, the Greek word philosophia, which means ‘love of wisdom’.

With a basis in shared principles of democracy, justice and moral values, World Philosophy Day aims to cultivate a culture of reflective thought among the world’s people to encourage peaceful coexistence - a message that we put into practice in all that we do here at the University of Edinburgh.

World Philosophy Day

Edinburgh's philosophical heritage

David Hume

Edinburgh’s relationship with philosophy is 400 years in the making, dating back to the University’s conception in 1583. Some of the greatest philosophers of all time have their roots in Edinburgh.

Born in 1711, David Hume began his work in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh in 1723. This world famous philosopher is considered by many to be the most influential thinker of the Scottish Enlightenment. His work went on to inspire other philosophers like Immanuel Kant and Edinburgh’s own Adam Smith.

David Hume - Edinburgh's most well-known philosopher

Interdisciplinary collaborations

Philosophy research at Edinburgh is known for its interdisciplinary projects, collaborating with researchers in other schools and beyond.

We have links with:

  • Moray House School of Education
  • School of Divinity
  • School of History, Classic and Archaeology
  • School of Informatics

Philosophy research centre

Eidyn logo

Eidyn research centre, established in 2012, is host to a range of projects and research activities including outreach projects such as the Diversity Reading List.

This project aims to highlight the work of researchers and scholars from under-represented groups with a current focus on texts related to ethics.  The hope is to expand the list to all areas of philosophy. Our researchers supplement each text with additional information, such as how the text could be used in teaching.


Diversity Reading List

Online learning in philosophy

Our world-leading academics have pioneered Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which have had over 1 million enrollments since 2013.

Our course ‘Introduction to Philosophy’ ranks as the 17th most popular MOOC of all time (Online Course Report - 50 Most Popular MOOCs of all time 2017).

We also offer the online programmes MSc Epistemology, Ethics & Mind and MSc Philosophy, Science & Religion, allowing students to gain a world class qualification flexibly without the expense of relocating.

Free online courses (MOOCs)

MSc Epistemology, Ethics & Mind

MSc Mind, Language & Embodied Cognition