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Gustavo Fernandez Walker

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH FELLOW

Philosophy and Philology
unit
Telephone
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Gustavo Fernandez Walker

I studied Philosophy at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), where I graduated as professor specialized in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. I later completed a PhD in Classical Philology and Hermenutics of the Philosophical Text, a joint supervision by the Università del Salento (Italy) and the Universidad Nacional de San Martín (Argentina); and a PhD in Medieval Philosophy at the Universidad de Buenos Aires.   I am interested in the way later medieval scholars reflected on their own scientific endeavors, in particular through the discussion of notions such as "doubt" (dubitatio), "problem" (problema), "probable" (probabile), all key concepts of the art of dialectic, read through the lens of the Latin translation of Aristotle's Topics. In fact, words as dubitare, dubitatio and dubia 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. However, although there are many interesting studies devoted to some particular aspect of this notion (doubt as opposed to faith; doubt as opposed to certitude; etc.) there seems to be no comprehensive analysis of what later medieval authors understood as the act of doubting itself, and its proper place within the overall scope of philosophy. My contention is that the medieval reception of Aristotle's Topics offers a unique understanding of the perception that medieval scholars had of their own practice of philosophy, understood as the actual engagement in dialectic reasoning, i.e. a kind of reasoning which values doubt as a heuristic tool for philosophical investigation.   Since most of the commentaries on Aristotle's Topics from the 13th to the 15th century remain unedited, the goal of the TOPICA project here at Gothenburg University is to produce critical editions of some of those commentaries, and offer a reading of Aristotelian logic and its medieval reception as a set of pragmatic perspectives into different aspects or theoretical moments of the act of philosophical argumentation.