Considering the general causes and principles of things.
UNESCO promotes research and teaching as well as the strengthening of national institutions in this field. In the case of philosophy, activities cover the epistemological foundation of different branches and areas of science, the identification of new research areas and knowledge systems at the forefront of science, and axiological and ethical problems in relation to biology, genetics, environment, development, human rights and peace, international relations and law, communication, modernity and cultural specificity.
Philosophizing allows its practitioners to see beyond superficial concerns to underlying issues.
Philosophizing numbs the sense of urgency about social problems; it mistakes the world of ideas for reality; it has no effect outside the minds of its practitioners.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.