The Malta Independent 25 October 2021, Monday

Philosophy Sharing Foundation has just published the 15th edition of SHARE magazine

Tuesday, 20 April 2021, 09:58 Last update: about 7 months ago

This is the third issue which is being published since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. Naturally during this crisis the Foundation was forced to cancel or reschedule its planned activities.

The Foundation welcomes Professor Claude Mangion, Head of the Philosophy Department of the University of Malta who has joined the editorial board of this magazine. The depth and width of his academic knowledge will surely enhance raise the quality standard of the magazine.

The main feature of the magazine is a lively philosophical debate about inequality with contributions from active Maltese social thinkers. All the contributors tend to concur that inequality is an inevitable feature of human society. The gloomy face of a child behind the barbed wire of a demarcation zone as portrayed on the front cover of this issue epitomises the predominant image of inequality. Inequality affects us not only materialistically but also our psyche and state of health. Even climate change could be a consequential factor of inequalities at a universal level. The contributors have provided diverse and perceptive insights that can be helpful in addressing the issue of inequality.

On a different note, this issue delves into the subject of happiness through an interview conducted by Ian Rizzo with American philosopher Daniel M. Haybron who is Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University. Daniel Haybron has published two books on the subject of happiness. From this interview, the reader gains a very wide and deep perception of happiness that goes beyond the simple evaluation of emotional states of mind and judgement of life satisfaction. As the philosopher remarked, humanity must figure out how to enjoy the best fruits of modern living without undermining so many other cherished human values such as healthy inter-relationships, peace of mind and the enjoyment of environment and the habitat.

Further insightful contributions by Professor Joe Friggieri and Professor Massimo Dell'Utri are given in this issue of SHARE magazine on two contemporary philosophers - Donald Davidson and Hilary Putnam. Professor Joe Friggieri refers to Davidson's paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Royal Institute of Philosophy at the University of Reading in September 1996 which mentions three basic views of language - (a) language acting as a reproduction for the mind of what is out there, (b) language that hides or distorts reality and (c) language imparting certain characteristics in the mode of communication. Prof Friggieri explains why Donald Davidson rejects all this these views and contends that thought and language must be seen as developing in tandem through a gradual process.

In his article, Professor Massimo Dell'Utri, discusses Putnam's ongoing concern with the need that facts and values are not opposed to each other as had been held with number of academic disciplines. This is an important consideration as there was a time when values were treated as secondary on account of their being considered as subjective or cultural. The recognition that facts and values are deeply intertwined encourages a broader, holistic picture of humane existence, given that it is value that guides us on how we ought to live our lives on both an individual and social level.

This issue deals also with two other interesting current topics namely: liberation theology and migration. The editor Valdeli Pereira who is of Brazilian nationality strongly argues for the synergy that tends to exist between the proponents of liberation theology and those espousing the Marxist philosophy. Furthermore liberation theology has also embraced environmentalism and the protection of the planet under the present Pope Francis.

The other topical issue of migration is treated by Professor Peter Mayo through the lens and viewpoint of the Italian philosopher, Antonio Gramsci. Prof Mayo argues that any Gramscian analysis on migration should first and foremost proceed with a refined analysis of the migrants' origins within their historical context. Such an analysis should include both the cultural and economic aspect.

The Magazine also includes a review of a book on Deborah Goldgaber's publication - Speculative Grammatology Deconstruction and New Materialism. Goldgaber's publication focuses on French philosopher Jacques Derrida's early work on deconstruction. In the light of the controversies that Derrida has contributed to the anti-realism movement which maintains that human reality cannot be grasped beyond language, Niki Young, the book reviewer, recommends Goldgaber's book for an open-minded interpretation of Derrida's views.

SHARE magazine concludes with the philosophical manifesto that was launched in the previous edition. In this issue, the Manifesto focuses on what type of society can be built to ensure that all citizens can flourish and make a valid contribution to the well-being of society. While acknowledging the inevitabilities of the human condition and the universal human institutions created by civilisation, the Manifesto argues for shorter worker hours, a universal basic income, and increased citizens participation in political decision-making to ensure the highest possible state of self-actualisation by its citizens.

Members will receive a free copy of SHARE by post. Other persons interested in receiving a copy of the magazine are to contact the Foundation on the website or its email account - [email protected] The price of the magazine is €5.

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