Institute of Philosophy
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  UNESCO Chair in Philosophy
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UNESCO Chair in Philosophy

UNESCO Chair in philosophy "Philosophy in the Dialogue of Cultures"
          Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences
          14, Volhonka Street,
          Moscow 119 992,
          Russian Federation

          Chief Reserch Fellow & Professor,
          Center for Oriental Philosophies' Studies,
          Institute of Philosophy,
          Russian Academy of Sciences
          Fax: (495) 609 93 50

The first in Russia UNESCO Chair in philosophy was established in June 2008 at the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of sciences (IPH RAN) which has been since its foundation in 1929 the central and the most important in Russia center for research in all fields of philosophy. For more than a quarter of the century the Center for Oriental Philosophies' Studies has been functioning at the IPH RAN. Its task is to translate into Russian and to make commentaries of the most important texts from ancient Chinese, Sanskrit, Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Hindi, Vietnamese languages. The Center publishes academic Series in the fundamental studies on Eastern philosophical and religious traditions, dictionaries and encyclopedias.

The Center has initiated in Russia the studies in comparative philosophy and it has become the leading institution in that field. It organized several international conferences, including the 1st Moscow International Conference of Comparative Philosophy on: "Moral Philosophy from Different Cultural Perspectives" (2002) and the 2nd Moscow International Conference of Comparative Philosophy on: "Knowledge and Belief: Cross-cultural Approach" (2006).

The main task of the UNESCO chair in philosophy "Philosophy in the Dialogue of Cultures" is to carry on the research studies and the training in the field of comparative philosophy. It is imperative for an effective dialogue of cultures and civilizations, which is among the priorities of UNESCO, to define universal values and cultural essentials. The comparative studies in philosophy as well as the teaching the students in the spirit of the respect to the culture of the Other based on knowledge and understanding will promote lessening of confrontation and will be helpful in bringing mutual understanding between the peoples of different cultures in the age of globalization.

The course "Introduction to Eastern Philosophies" (90 hours) is taught to all the students of the 2nd year. The students of the 3rd - 5th grades have classes in Chinese, Arabic, Farsi and Sanskrit. The special lectures and seminars on Indian, Chinese and Arabic philosophies are included in the curricular. The best students continue their education so that to get Ph.D. degrees. The Center publishes a series of the text books and manuals on Eastern philosophic and religious traditions.

The UNESCO chair organized in September (11–12) 2008 the first Russian-Japanese symposium on "Buddhist Philosophy in Multicultural Context". More that 40 scholars participated in the work of the symposium. 11 Russian and 5 Japanese philosophers, including the Director of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy (Tokyo), presented their papers which were published in a special issue of the Japanese "The Journal of Oriental Studies" (№ 2, 2008). The English edition of the same journal is under press.



Short c.v. of the Chairholder

Prof. Marietta Stepanyants is the author of more than 200 works including 14 books. She is the editor of about 30 volumes. Her writings were published in 30 countries. Prof. M.Stepanyants has played a crucial role in making philosophic Orientology as a leading field in current Russian philosophy, in the revival comparative philosophy studies in Russia. Prof. Stepanyants was elected in 2008 (till 2013) as the 1st vice-president of the World Federation of Philosophical Societies.

For outstanding academic achievements Prof. M. Stepanyants got awards: "Honored Scholar of the Russian Federation" issued by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation (2002); "Plekhanov's Award" of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2006). She is a recipient of the "Award of the President of the Russian Federation for directing a leading school in humanities" (2006–2007, 2008–2009 years).

Prof. M. Stepanyants directed many international conferences including the most prestigious in the field of comparative studies "East & West Philosophers' Conferences" in Honolulu (1995, 2000). Since 2003 she has been a member of the Executive Committee, World Federation of Philosophical Societies (WFPS). In 2008 she is elected as the 1st Vice-president of WFPS for the next 5 years.