May we who create our pasts be bold enough to create new futures.
This is a unique book. First of all, it tells a fascinating story: the story of philosophy in Malta. Never has this been done until now. Here it is, accessible and intriguing.
Secondly, this book is a useful tool for you to do your own thinking; your own philosophizing, if you like. Maybe it is futile to tell a story without empowering the reader to renew and conceive one’s very own tale. So here, again, is perhaps the right push you need.
Thirdly, the narration contained in this book concerns the verve of men and women who, while living on these little islands in the middle of the Mediterranean, have strived to understand themselves and the world around them. This is but an act of gratitude to their love and dedication. May our remembrance give them honour, as much as their memory gives us strength.
The Times Tuesday, November 8, 2011
“The study of the history of philosophy in Malta is certainly picking up. The subject was introduced to the public for the first time back in 1995, well 16 years ago.
During this time, research intensified, higher benchmarks were adopted and more rigorous criteria were applied to the investigations.
All of this is evident in a new publication being launched at the the Malta Book Fair at the Mediterranean Conference Centre between tomorrow and Sunday.
The book – Malta’s Philosophy & Philosophers – is an outstanding production of PIN Publications. Fully and magnificently illustrated, friendly-user, skilfully written, and with fabulous photography, it sets new standards to the history of philosophy in Malta.
This spectacular new book takes you through Malta’s philosophical experience along the centuries up till our own time. It is designed to be useful and interesting to a wide range of readers, from philosophy students to booklovers without any previous knowledge of philosophy.
The author, Mark Montebello, has been researching the subject for the last 20 years. Now, however, in this publication, he brings to it new life and unparalleled brightness.
Malta’s Philosophy & Philosophers begins with a general word about the nature of philosophy, and then explores briefly Malta’s own philosophical tradition and heritage. Next, it proffers a philosophical reading of the “language” of Malta’s ancient temples.
The rest of the book is organised in eight chapters. The first deals with pre-Knights periods and the second with the period of the Knights Hospitallers.
The third chapter reviews Maltese philosophers who worked at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century.
The fourth appraises the philosophical work done in Malta during the British period up till World War II.
The next chapter considers the period between the war and Malta’s independence. The sixth looks into the post-independence period up till the end of the 20th century.
While the seventh inspects the work of young and promising Maltese philosophers, the final chapter deals with some subsidiary themes, including the philosophical work done by women, the teaching of philosophy, the future of philosophy in Malta, and the philosophical approaches of current Maltese philosophers.
In all, the publication reviews the biographies, careers, philosophies and selected texts of some 40 Maltese philosophers.
Moreover, it provides data concerning another 65 Maltese thinkers directly or indirectly related to philosophy, and about 20 general themes associated with Maltese culture. It also supplies a time-line of salient events in Malta’s history, internet sources, thought-provoking reflections, suggestions for further reading, and lists of related ideas.
The book is conceived for a foreign as much as a Maltese readership. Its main intention is to provide sufficient conceptual tools for readers to do their own thinking and philosophy.
The hundreds of dazzling photographs, all expertly taken by professional photographer Raymond Attard, are locally related, shot at innumerable places, archives, libraries and museums both in Malta and in Gozo.
Furthermore, illustrated in the book are artistic works created by some fifty modern Maltese artists. The book closes with full subject and name indexes, and lists of credits and copyright holders.
Understandably, with a book of such calibre the process of elaboration was necessarily long and complex. It involved the collaboration of a large number of professional people, including the living philosophers featured in the book.
The result is for all to see and ascertain. May the publication prove to be a welcome asset to the study, enrichment and growth of philosophy in Malta.”