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Fellows 2015

Gustavo Fernández Walker (Universidad Nacional de San Martin, Buenos Aires): Juni bis Juli 2015

Gustavo Fernández Walker holds a Doctorate in Medieval Philosophy (Universidad de Buenos Aires) and a Doctorate in Philology and Hermeneutics of the Philosophical Text (Università del Salento, Lecce - Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Buenos Aires). He is assistant professor of History of Medieval Philosophy at the Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Buenos Aires.

Project: Words such as dubitare, dubitatio and dubium can be found in all kinds of philosophical treatises since Antiquity, to the point that the very practice of philosophy is commonly associated with the act of doubting. This, of course, is particularly clear in the case of Modern philosophy –Descartes' Meditations being the example most at hand. Medieval philosophers, however, are not commonly associated with the concept of "methodic doubt", even if a closer look at their texts reveals that there is a case in favor of applying this notion to medieval discussions in philosophy and theology. This heuristic function of doubt is expressed, for instance, by Nicholas of Autrecourt's equation of doubt and investigation in the second prologue of his treatise Exigit ordo (dubitando inquiretur), and is made explicit by Walter Burley in his notes on Aristotle's Topics (dubitatio valet ad inquisitionem veritatis). The aim of the present project is to analyse unedited 14th century commentaries on Aristotle's Topics, in order to trace in them the development of a medieval theory of doubt, since it is precisely in the context of the analysis of dialectical disputations, such as they are presented in book I of Aristotle's Topics, that medieval authors seem to attempt a definition of doubt as a heuristic tool for philosophical or theological inquiries.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Gert Melville

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