Pirotta, Angelo (28.12.1894-16.11.1956)

Professor of Philosophy

Salvatore Pirotta was bom at Naxxar and studied at the Lyceum. He joined the Dominican Order in 1911 and was given the name of Angelo he studied philosophy and theology at St Thomas Aquinas College, Rabat and was ordained priest in 1917. He pursued his studies at the International Pontifical Institute Angelicum, Rome where he graduated as lector in theology (S.Th.L.) in 1919; two years later he was awarded a doctorate in philosophy (Ph.D.) with a thesis De Persona seu Supposito. In 1935 he obtained his S.Th.M.

On obtaining his Ph.D., Pirotta started his brilliant career teaching philosophy in Dominican colleges: Viterbo (1921-26); Angelicum (1926-28); Florence (1930-31); Naples (1931-35); and St Thomas Aquinas, 'in Rabat (1928-30, 1935-55). In Naples and in Malta (1935-44) he was also regent of studies.

From 1945 onward,s Pirotta was examiner of philosophy at the RUM.

Pirotta's lecture notes are still preserved in the Dominican archives at Rabat. These include 'Introductio ad philosophiam', 'Logica Fortnalis', 'Logica Materialis', 'Psychologia', 'Metaphysica', 'Philosophia Naturalis', and 'Historia Philosophiae' from the earliest times to contemporary philosophy. These notes evince Pirotta's skills in explaining the most difficult problems. Pirotta published many contributions in foreign scholarly journals, such as Divus Thomas (Fribourg), Ephemerides Theologicae Lovaniensis, Angelicum, and Divus Thomas (Piacenza), which contain most of his studies. He also wrote a large number of reviews in scholarly journals.

Pirotta is best known for his books on philosophy: works with the commentaries of St Tbomas on Aristotle, De Anima (Torino,1925), De Sensu et Sensatu, De Memoria et Reminiscientia (Torino,1928), Decem Libri Ethicorurn ad Nichomachum (Torino,1934), and Octo -Lbri Physicorum (Naples,1953). He also published the first two books, PhilosoPhia Rationalis (Torino,1931) and Philosophia NatumHs (Torino,1936), of a projected complete course of philosophy. He also left behind many philosophical manuscripts.

In spite of his dedication to teaching and writing, Pirotta also devoted a lot of his time to preaching in Italian and Maltese he used to write down almost the complete text of his sermons. For about the last five years of his life, he was the chaplain of the Dominican sisters at Naxxar, although he never gave up his lecturing duties in philosophy at St Thomas Aquinas College.

Source: Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century (1997), editors Michael J. Schiavone and Louis J. Scerri

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