I've heard of a cartoon that appeared in the Iranian émigré press following the crackdown against last year's widespread protests against the government. It shows a couple of young people in a prison cell. One of them says something like, "We're philosophy students and they've thrown us in prison! Now what do we do?"
And the other says, "Calm down. We'll just continue our studies. After all, our dissertation director is in the next cell…."
It is against this background of repression that the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization will be holding a conference to honor World Philosophy Day in, of all places, Tehran. Celebrated each year on the third Thursday in November, the event was proclaimed in 2002 "to reaffirm the true value of philosophy, that is to say the establishment of dialogue that must never cease when it comes to essential matters, and of thought which gives us back a large part of human dignity whatever our condition."
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