A book with a past and eye on the future
Mark Montebello: Malta’s Philosophy and Philosophers, PIN, 2011,231 pp.
A new book documents how Malta bears a philosophical tradition that goes back to at least the 15th century.
Mark Montebello’s Malta’sPhilosophy and Philosophers aims to prove that Malta has a centuries-old philosophical tradition.
The book does not stand alone. In 2001, Montebello also published a two-volume work called Il-Ktieb tal-Filosofija f’Malta (The Sourcebook of Philosophy in Malta), on which this latest publication is, in part, based. In 2009, he had also published 20th Century Philosophy in Malta. Speaking about one of the reasons behind his research, Montebello said:
“I believe that, for contemporary philosophers to accomplish their work with confidence,pride and due appreciation, itis necessary to esteem andcherish our philosophical heritage. We neither invent the wheel nor are we loops of achain which never was. We are part of a continuum. To feel part of it lends encouragement.”
Further reason for his research in this field was his belief that philosophers can, and perhaps must, be of service to society. Knowing their past, and feeling a sense of bonding, instead of standing alone doing their own thing detached, dispersed and isolated, philosophers could play a useful part in national discussions which can affect our way of being, thinking and behaving.
This thought was not entirely new. From the late 1960s onwards, Fr Peter Serracino Inglott, and later Joe Friggieri, Kenneth Wain, Mario Vella and others, strove to dispel the idea that philosophers are merely intelligent beings living in ivory towers.
Montebello hopes his publication Malta’s Philosophy and Philosophers, can be an auxiliary to what can develop into something interesting and exciting among philosophers.
Montebello lectures in Philosophy at the University of Malta.