More than 60 of the world’s most highly regarded philosophers and scholars have confirmed to attend the second edition of the International Conference on Philosophy, organised by the Centre for Philosophical Studies, at Mohamed Bin Zayed University for Humanities.

Taking place from 6-7 February 2024, the conference will welcome international delegates to Abu Dhabi to discuss a wide range of ethical and philosophical issues focusing on the theme for this year - Philosophy and the Challenge of Theoretical and Social Progress.

Held at the St. Regis Saadiyat Hotel in Abu Dhabi, the International Conference on Philosophy will highlight the problematic dimension of the concept of progress and the possibility of formulating a possible and reasonable understanding of it according to what contemporary societies need.

With the high calibre of experts attending, the event will gather insights from specialists and researchers to determine where to look at society’s problems in the cultural context, as well as developing a model of rationality dominated by relativism and openness to various sectors of knowledge, in order to have a better understanding of the world’s current challenges.

This year’s conference provides a platform for the exchange of insights and expertise among the world’s leading scholars, who represent 35 of the best universities from 16 countries.  More than 56 research papers will be discussed over eight sessions across two days.

His Excellency Dr. Khalifa Mubarak Al Dhaheri, Chancellor of Mohamed Bin Zayed University for Humanities, said that the conference is the realisation of the institution’s continuing commitment to serve society and fulfill its cultural mission. It also will help broaden its contribution to the development of philosophy, ethics and knowledge. In addition, it will help strengthen the research and academic programmes of the university as well as enhance its position as an academic centre of excellence in the philosophical and social sciences, as well as the humanities.

His Excellency Dr. Khalifa Mubarak Al Dhaheri said: "Human societies today have an urgent need to invest moral values ​​and knowledge in uplifting people, developing nations, and ensuring humanity gets the most benefit from knowledge and the sciences. Therefore, it has become necessary to propose ideas and formulate visions to rebuild philosophical studies in accordance with what achieves these noble goals.

 “We decided to specialise in philosophy because of its fundamental role in enriching the values ​​of tolerance, coexistence, and knowledge, all of which are concepts that require philosophical effort and an ethical question that addresses diversity of thought and perspective in society. In addition, it is a starting point for high-level intellectual discussions and has a major role in shaping collective awareness.”

Some of the sessions that will take place during the event include: The Concept of Progress between the Past and the Present, On the Concept of Progress Philosophically, The Concept of Progress in Philosophy: Islamic, Greek, and Arab Thought, On the concept of Progress from Past to Present, Progress and Ethics, Progress and Human Society and Progress and Epistemological Contexts.

The conference agenda also includes discussions on a number of recent publications and books by researchers and conference participants, in addition to dialogue meetings with guests and participants. Delegates are also expected to participate in field visits to the most important cultural and tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi.

Among the countries with confirmed representation in the event include: UAE, Morocco, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, France, Italy, China, Canada, Spain, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Mauritania, Germany, Lebanon and Switzerland.

Mohamed Bin Zayed University for Humanities established the Centre for Philosophical Studies, which is considered the first of its kind in the country in the field of philosophical research, as part of a directive issued by the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi.

The centre seeks to achieve the goals and vision of Abu Dhabi 2030 and the UAE government in capacity building, intellectual and philosophical pursuits, and consolidating the values ​​of tolerance and coexistence that the UAE has adopted as part of its core values and guiding principles. The centre is also mandated to help enhance the university’s vision in developing the humanities as a field of study and academic programme.