My name is Gustavo Fernández Walker, from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I am currently Associate Professor of Medieval Philosophy at the Universidad Nacional de San Martín. I did a PhD in Medieval Philosophy at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, and a PhD in Philology and Hermeneutics in a joint-program between the Università del Salento (Italy) and the Universidad Nacional de San Martín (Argentina).
During my PhD studies, I came across a couple of propositions that intrigued me:
non determinando, sed dubitando inquiretur (in Nicholas of Autrecourt’s Exigit ordo)
dubitatio valet ad inquisitionem veritatis (in Walter Burley’s notulae on Aristotle’s Topics)
Both seem to imply that doubting was, quite explicitly (at least by these fourteenth-century authors), considered as a valid procedure for philosophical enquiries –something not necessarily shocking, although at least unusual. Or, let’s say, unusual enough for me to start the search for other texts and authors in which doubt is considered of heuristic value for philosophical (or theological) investigation in the Middle Ages. The ideal goal of this search is to arrive at a comprehensive consideration of what exactly medieval thinkers understood by words such as dubitatio, dubitare, etc. Or, to put it in other terms, to find something akin to a “theory of doubt” in the Middle Ages.
Building upon the work of other scholars, and doing some manuscript-digging of my own, I was able so far to find a few interesting things, on which I am currently working (no spoilers!). Many of these findings come from medieval logicians (commentaries on Aristotle’s Topics, for the most part, but also sophismata– and obligationes-literature), hence my presence here, in our Medieval Logic & Semantics blog.
Also, I work as classical music critic for a few magazines and radio stations in Buenos Aires, but that is stuff for another blog…