Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences
Name: Institute of Philosophy
Phone: (84-4) 3514 0517 - 3514 0528
Fax: ( 84-4) 3514 1935
Address: 59 Lang Ha - Ba Dinh - Hanoi

Functions and tasks of the Institute of Philosophy


At the beginning, it was founded in August 1959 as a division of philosophy under the administration of the State Committee of Sciences. After separating from the State Committee of Sciences in 1967, the Institute of Philosophy started to run under the administration of Vietnam Committee of Social Sciences that was then renamed several times, as Vietnam Institute of Social Sciences; National Center for Social Sciences and Humanities; and eventually Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences.

The basic functions and tasks undertaken by the Institute of Philosophy include: "(1) To do research on Vietnam’s socialist-oriented development from the perspective of philosophy, making a contribution into provision of scientific grounds for the Communist Party as well as the State strategy-planning and policy-making; (2) To build a scientific worldview and academic methodology; (3) To provide philosophical consultancy and postgraduate training; and (4) to take part in development of social scientific potentialities of the whole country”.


Working at the Institute of Philosophy at present, there are nearly 60 people, of which 40 ones are researchers. Regarding to the structure, the Institute is organized into research departments, functional departments, and the Review of Philosophy as below:

- Research departments:

+ Department of Marxist – Leninist Philosophy

+ Department of Oriental Philosophy

+ Department of Western Philosophy

+ Department of Vietnam’s Philosophical History

+ Department of Social Philosophy

+ Department of Political Philosophy

+ Department of Cultural Philosophy

+ Department of Ethics and Aesthetics

+ Department of Philosophy in Science, Technology and Environment

+ Department of Logic

- Functional departments:

+ Department of Administration and Personnel

+ Department of Academic Management and International Cooperation

+ Department of Information - Library

 - Review of Philosophy

Editorial and Management Department

The Institute has gained a lot of achievements in fifty years of its building and development, which can be divided into several following periods:

  1. Achievements in the period from 1959 to 1964

For this period, the Institute focused on some tasks, including (1) to do research on basic theoretical issues of the dialectical and historical materialism; (2) to apply philosophies in studying major revolutionary issues of Vietnam; (3) to do research on the history of thoughts in Vietnam; (4) to keep watch on the modern bourgeoisie philosophy and other philosophies in the area ruled by the American and Southern Government; (5) to do research on ethics, aesthetics, and philosophy in natural sciences; and (6) to keep track of the philosophical situations in socialist countries.

The most important achievements gained by the Institute in this period are: (1) to carry our efficiently the tasks of providing training and disseminating Marxist philosophy; (2) to contribute a part into building the scientific worldview and consciousness-raising methodology; and (3) to strengthen the people’s and cadres’ trust in the Communist Party and their belief in the inevitable victory of the nation in undertaking two key and strategic missions of the country.

b. Achievements in the period from 1964 to 1975


In this period, the Institute held a lot of big conferences on basic issues involved with philosophical studies in Vietnam, such as: Methodology for research on Vietnamese ideological history; Confucianism and its influence in Vietnam; human development for the new period etc… It discovered and promoted values of the traditional patriotism, especially the revolutionary heroism, aiming at encouraging the patriotism of our people and military to serve the anti-American resistance war and the building of Northern Vietnam as a big rear for the whole country. The Institute made a significant contribution into fighting against the distortion of Marxism – Leninism and criticizing reactionary philosophical movements, especially the personalism and spiritualism, which were used as a tool for the neo-colonialism in Southern Vietnam.


c. Achievements in the period from 1975 to 1986


In this period, the Institute of Philosophy published about 650 research papers and several tens of research books. Those research works made a significant contribution into providing scientific grounds on important issues of the socialist transition, highlighting the key role of sciences and techniques in labor-force development in a developing country, emphasizing the necessity of combining all scientific forces in socio-economic development and environmental protection, summarizing valuable experience and lessons of our Communist Party from the anti-American resistance war; and disseminating the Marxism – Leninism as well as analyzing modern philosophical issues…


d. Achievements in the period from 1986 up to now

Research works conducted by the Institute have really made a great contribution into clarifying the scientific foundation of Doi moi, reviewing the awareness of Marxism generally and Marxist philosophy particularly, and recognizing distinctive and common features for the road to socialism in our country in the context of globalization and international integration. The Institute has been also emphasizing on and investing more into basic research works, in terms of both personnel and funding.

There have been hundreds of research works done by the Institute, which are particularly in-depth in different theoretical and practical issues of the country. Those works provide scientific grounds for: (1) renovation of thinking, especially the theoretical one; (2) social renovation; (3) political program building and socio-economic strategy planning; (4) and drafting the Constitution as well as amending the Communist and State policies etc…

           In recent years, the Institute of Philosophy has been continually focusing its research works on some fields such as theoretical issues involved with socialism and the road to socialism in Vietnam at present, and socialist-orientation for the country development (through the ministerial-level research program from 2009 to 2012). In the meanwhile, its research has been also addressed to several other basic issues, including: the history of thoughts, especially Vietnamese philosophical ones; the history of Buddhism in Vietnam; Confucianism in Vietnam; and verified traditional values etc…

One of the most important contributions made by the Institute in the philosophical historical research for the past 50 years is that the Institute has step-by-step consistently collected a great bulk of literature, translated and utilized ideological values generally and philosophical values specifically that have been saved by the nation for centuries. The Institute, therefore, conducted successfully both collective and individual research works on great ideologists of the nation for every period. Some of the research works have been re-published for many times and have been widely popularized in Vietnam and abroad as well. Hundreds of newspaper articles and tens of monographs have been published.

Together with other disciplines of philosophy, the department of ethics and aesthetics has also contributed a significant part into studying and disseminating knowledge of ethics and aesthetics. The Institute actively took the initiative in explaining the scientific basis in the Communist Party guideline for renovation of culture and arts. The scientific interpretations played an important role in accomplishing excellently the Communist Party directions in the field of cultural and ideology.

In addition, the Institute has been focusing on theoretical factual foundations relating to moral values of laborers, owing to which the attitude of self-awareness has been created and the labor code of conduct has been set up. It is confirmed that legitimate interests cannot be excluded from high economic values and effectiveness according to the code of conduct in the market economy. On the contrary, trading and production can get high and sustainable economic effectiveness, only when the code of conduct is respected and trading activities are made for the very people.

It is obviously recognized that researchers of the Institute have been more qualified; research works have been, therefore, better than ever before. Scientific outputs have been increasingly higher by years. That hundreds of the Institute researchers have taken part in research projects at the National and Ministerial level for recent years is the very opportunity for them to improve research capacity. At the present, the Institute is carrying out 2 National-level research projects: one is on democracy execution and the other is on group interests and groups of interests; 5 Ministerial-level research projects; 5 projects funded by the Nafosted. In addition, about 20 Institute-level projects have been carried out since 2013 up to now.

All achievements in research and other activities of the Institute are closely attached with contribution and participation of the Communist Party cell and mass organizations such as the Youth Union, the Women’s Union, the Trade Union, and the Union of Veterans at the Institute. Continuously for many years, the Institute’s Communist Party Cell has been recognized as a powerful cell of the Communist Party within Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. The most outstanding is that all members of the Communist Party Cell as well as other bodies inside the Institute have a good sense of solidarity and consensus for development of the Institute, the Communist Party and the whole country.


Other contributions


  1. Philosophical training and knowledge enhancement


Since the Institute was assigned by the Government to provide postgraduate training, a lot of PhD and Master’s students from all over the country took training and got their degrees at the Institute. Regarding to the postgraduate training in the field of philosophy, the Institute of Philosophy is considered as one of the top training institutions in Vietnam. Until 2009, when the Institute of Philosophy still remained as an independent training unit, more than 120 students got their PhD degrees, of which many were evaluated excellent and their dissertations were then published as books. At the same time, hundreds of other students got their Master’s degree in Philosophy here as well.

In 2010, Graduate Academy of Social Sciences (GASS) was founded to undertake the function of providing graduate and postgraduate training in social sciences, including also philosophy. In the context of this training restructuring, most of the Institute researchers, who have PhD degree, work at the same time as lecturers of the Faculty of Philosophy in GASS.   

The serious training of high quality that does not follow the mechanism of certificate commercialization has improved the Institute prestige. Social recognition of the Institute’s contribution in the field of training is the valuable award for all generations of researchers-lecturers of the Institute. Many researchers of the Institute have got high academic titles from the State as Professors or Associate Professors.

b. Review of Philosophy

The Review of Philosophy is not only the organ of the Institute of Philosophy, but is also a scientific forum for all those, who work in the philosophical sector, as well as those, who are interested in philosophy. At present, every year, the Review is published in 12 volumes of Vietnamese version (monthly - each volume consists of 900 copies) and 4 volumes of English version (quarterly - each volume consists of 200 copies). For the articles published in the volumes of English version, some of them are selected from articles in the previous volumes of Vietnamese version, but some others are published for the first time. The Review of Philosophy (English version) can be viewed as one of the most important channels, through which the Institute introduces Vietnamese philosophical thinking as well as the philosophical research situation in Vietnam to international communities.

Apart from 25 volumes of the Newsletter of Philosophy issued from 1966 through 1972, the Review of Philosophy has also issued 256 other volumes in Vietnamese version since January 1973 and 22 volumes in English version since 2007 up to now. Published in all the volumes of the Newsletter of Philosophy and the Review of Philosophy, the whole numbers of research papers, information-disseminating papers, and book introduction papers are approximately 3,200, 500, and 250 respectively.

In terms of the form, the Review of Philosophy has been published in a large-sized paper (19cm x 27cm) with the carton covers since the first volume in 1988. To meet the requirements of philosophical research and teaching development as well as the demand of readers, from the first volume in 2008, the Review of Philosophy started to increase its number of pages from 64 to 84 (for the volumes of Vietnamese version).

In terms of content, the Review publishes properly new research findings of Vietnamese philosophers as well as emerging philosophical issues in Vietnam and the world. It introduces philosophical trends, methodologies and achievements in the world, making a contribution towards updating information and modernizing Vietnam’s philosophical science. This plays a significant role in setting up theoretical factual foundations for direction-planning and policy-making of the Communist Party and the Government in the process of socialist building and national defense. The Review papers also highlight the significance and values of the mankind philosophy as well as those of the national ideologies. Based on the standpoint of the Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s thought, the Review contributes its part into building the worldview and methodology for cadres and the people, to protest against the erroneous viewpoints of the hostile forces etc…

  1. International cooperation

In the entire period of foundation and development, the Institute of Philosophy set up international cooperation with institutes of philosophy in the countries of the former socialist system such as the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Democratic Republic of Germany, and China etc… The findings of many research works in cooperation with international partners have been highly evaluated and published. For the past 10 years, the Institute of Philosophy has gained great progress in international cooperation. In addition to maintaining cooperation with previous partners, the Institute has also expanded its research and training cooperation with institutes, universities, and academic foundations from different countries and territories such as Germany, Austria, USA, Czech, Latvia etc… in the Europe and America; China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan in North Asia; and Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines etc.. in Southeast Asia.

Bilateral and multilateral international conferences have been regularly held, focusing on in-depth issues. The Institute collaborated with the Institute of Philosophy (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), for example, to hold 7 international conferences on theoretical issues involved with socialism and the road to socialism, in which both sides are interested. The Institute collaborated with the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy (Academia Sinica, Taiwan) to hold 4 international conferences on “Vietnamese Confucianism and Eastern culture”. It collaborated with the Confucianism Research Institute (Chungnam National University, South Korea) to hold 5 international conferences on “Vietnamese Confucianism and Korean Confucianism”. It collaborated with the Council for Research in Value and Philosophy (RVP) and the Catholic University (USA) to hold 3 international conferences on cultural issues in Vietnam etc…

Especially, the Institute continually sends its researchers to the World Congress of Philosophy such as the 19th one in August 1993 in Moscow (Russia), the 20th one in August 1998 in Boston (USA), the 21st one in August 2003 in Istanbul (Turkey), the 22nd one in August 2008 in Seoul (South Korea), and the 23rd one in August 2013 in Athens (Greece). In those congresses, Vietnamese participants introduced Vietnamese philosophy, Philosophical education in Vietnam, and Doi moi in Vietnam to international participants and this has attracted a lot of interest from scholars in the world.

To recognize the effort and contribution as well as the significant achievements of different generations of the Institute researchers, the Government offered the Institute of Philosophy noble rewards, such as the Second-Ranked Labor Medal in 1984, the First-Ranked Labor Medal in 2002, and the Third-Ranked Independence Medal in 2010. The Review of Philosophy also won the Third-Ranked Labor Medal in 1984 and the Second-Ranked Labor Medal in 2009.