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Peter Serracino Inglott

Serracino Inglott speaking at Researchers' Night 2007, at Saint James Cavalier, Malta

Peter Serracino Inglott (April 26, 1936 – March 16, 2012) was Rector of the University of Malta (1987–1988, 1991–1996) and Emeritus Professor of philosophy at the same University.

A Catholic priest, Peter Serracino Inglott was ordained in Milan by Cardinal Montini, later Pope Paul VI.


  • Studies 1
  • Academic career and honours 2
  • Public life 3
  • Philosophy 4
  • Death 5
  • Selected bibliography 6
  • Notes 7
  • External links 8
  • See also 9


Serracino-Inglott studied at the then Royal University of Malta (BA 1951-1955), Campion Hall, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar (MA 1955-1958), the Institut Catholique de Paris (BD cum laude 1958-1960) and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Ph.D. 1960-1963) with a thesis on Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

Academic career and honours

He was head of the philosophy department at the University of Malta between 1971 and 1996, when he was succeeded by Joe Friggieri. He was also professor in the faculty of theology at the University.

Serracino Inglott was professor of aesthetics at the Instituto Internazionale di Arte e Liturgia at Milan, visiting professor at Panthéon-Assas University (1989–1990), UNESCO Fellow at the Open University, UK (1978) and guest lecturer at the universities of Cincinnati, Milan (Cattolica), Venice (Ca Foscari), Palermo and the College of Europe at Bruges (1989, 1990).

He was conferred honorary doctorates by International Maritime Law Institute. He was also honoured by the French, Italian, Portuguese and Maltese governments respectively with the Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur (1990), Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Ordine al Merito (1995), Gra-Cruz da Ordam (1995) and Companion of the Order of Merit (Malta) (1995).[1]

Public life

Serracino Inglott was an advisor to the former Prime Minister of Malta, Eddie Fenech Adami (1987–1996, 1998–2004). He was one of three Maltese representatives at the Convention on the Future of Europe presided by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, contributing to various aspects of the debate at the Convention ranging from proposed amendments to include a reference to Europe's Christian traditions[2] to procedural proposals to streamline the EU's decision-making process.[3]


Language is at the centre of Serracino Inglott's philosophical work with Thomas Aquinas and Ludwig Wittgenstein as the two critical signposts on his conceptual terrain. From this point of view, one may link him to his friend Herbert McCabe. MacCabe, who was also an acknowledged influence on the thought of Terry Eagleton, Alasdair MacIntyre, Anthony Kenny and Seamus Heaney, was for several years external examiner in philosophy at the University of Malta. A former student of his, Mario Vella, has written one of the few critical assessments of Serracino Inglott as philosopher, Reflections in a Canvas Bag: Beginning Philosophy Between Politics and History Marsa, Malta: PEG, 1989 ISBN 99909-0-234-8.[4]

Apart from his two principal philosophical texts (Beginning Philosophy 1987 and Peopled Silence 1995), Serracino Inglott has written and expressed himself on the media on a variety of subjects (notably on biotechnology and human rights [1]) but the Mediterranean region stands out as a leitmotiv in his thought and his core interest.


Serracino Inglott died on 16 March 2012. He had been suffering from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and was being treated at Mater Dei hospital.[5][6]

Selected bibliography

  • ‘Secolarizzazione e linguaggio’, in Crisi dell’Occidente e Fondazione della Cultura (ed. N. Incardona), Palermo (1976);
  • ‘Malta and the EEC: The Priority of Political Considerations’, in Azad Perspektiv, Malta, no. 8 (1979);
  • Mediterranean Music, UNESCO (1988) with Charles Camilleri;
  • ‘The Mediterranean Story-Telling Sailor: Odysseus and Sinbad’ in Atti della Terza Assemblea Plenaria della Communità delle Università Mediterranee (1989);
  • ‘Responsabilità morali degli scienziati nei confronti delle generazioni future’ in Scienza ed Etica nella Centralità dell’ Uomo (ed. P. Cattorini), Milano (1990);
  • Compostella, Malta (1993) Libretto of an Opera on the European significance of the pilgrimage in medieval and contemporary times;
  • The Maltese Cross, Malta (1995) – A European Opera on the mystery of Schiller’s Die Malteser;
  • Pynchon, Wittgenstein and Malta (1995) with Petra Bianchi et al.;
  • The volume Interfaces, essays in honour of Peter Serracino-Inglott (1997) with contributions by:
    • Alain Blondy (Professor of History at the Sorbonne)
    • David E. Cooper (Professor of Philosophy at the University of Durham)
    • David Farley-Hills (Emeritus Professor at the University of Wales)
    • John Haldane (Professor of Philosophy and Head of the School of Philosophical and Anthropological Studies at the University of St. Andrews)
    • Peter Jones (Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh)
    • Elisabeth Mann Borgese (Professor of Politics at Dalhousie University)
    • Federico Mayor (Director General of UNESCO)
    • Paul Streeten (Professor of Economics and chairman of the editorial board of the bi-monthly journal World Development)
    • contains a brief biography of Peter Serracino Inglott by his successor in the chair of philosophy at the University of Malta Joe Friggieri and a very useful annotated bibliography.


  1. ^ Maltese Government
  2. ^ European Convention
  3. ^ Europa
  4. ^ See also Mark F. Montebello, Stedina għall-Filosofija Maltija, Marsa, Malta : PEG, 1995 ISBN 99909-0-060-4, for a general introduction to philosophy in Malta.
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links

  • times of Malta.comArticle from
  • Department of Information, Malta
  • University of Malta
  • University of Malta, Faculty of Theology
  • Brunel University
  • European Convention, European Union
  • House of Representatives, Malta

See also

Philosophy in Malta

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