Potestas Essendi

A Virtual Space for Thoughts on the Middle Ages, by Nicola Polloni

Books & Volumes

Monographs

2018 – Glimpses of the Invisible: Doctrines and Sources of Dominicus Gundissalinus’ Metaphysics, preliminary agreement with PIMS, Toronto, forthcoming.

My book deals with the metaphysical reflection of Dominicus Gundissalinus, a 12th-century translator from Arabic into Latin and the first philosopher in receiving, developing, and criticising many fundamental Muslim and Jewish doctrines derived him from the writings he translated. The first chapter analyses Gundissalinus’ biography, from his education in Chartres to his translating activity in Toledo, underlying the importance the importance of these events for his philosophical production, which is presented in the final part of this section. The second chapter deals with Gundissalinus’ metaphysical reflection, and analyses his two metaphysical works (De unitate et uno and De processione mundi) through three main features, i.e., the being on God, the creatural ontology, and the causative process that led to the constitution of the world. The following chapters take into account Gundissalinus’ reception, development, and criticism of his Arabic and Latin sources. In the first place, chapter three examines the influence of Avicebron on Gundissalinus’ metaphysics, and presents the progressive development and reassessment of Gundissalinus’ ontological positions. Chapter four analyses the crucial impact Avicenna’s philosophy had on Gundissalinus previous adhesion to Avicebron’s ontology, and points out the peculiarities of Gundissalinus’ interpretation of Avicenna, derived him by Abraham Ibn Daud, a Jewish philosopher and collaborator of Gundissalinus in the translations into Latin. Finally, chapter five shows Gundissalinus’ syncretism in his approach to the Arabic sources. By taking into account the Latin classical sources used by him (Boethius and Calcidius), and the authors of the so-called School of Chartres (Thierry of Chartres, William of Conches, Hermann of Carinthia), the chapter examines the coherence (and divergences) with the main themes of 12th-century Latin discussion on metaphysics, pointing out Gundissalinus’ attempt to resolve the fundamental problems he inherited from Chartres.


2017 – Domingo Gundisalvo. Una introducción, Editorial Sindéresis, Madrid.

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 07.26.37Gundisalvo desempeñó su papel principal como filósofo, y como tal, fue el primero en acoger críticamente las doctrinas avicenianas, farabianas, gabirolianas y aristotélicas. En este sentido, Gundisalvo nos proporciona un panorama donde el platonismo timaico típico de la Escuela de Chartres y de Hermann de Carintia estaba en crisis y que, en varias décadas, llegó a ser superado por la revolución aristotélica del siglo XIII. En sus escritos, Gundisalvo parece quedarse entre las dos orillas de este caudal especulativo, acogiendo el aristotelismo neoplatónico árabe y rechazando fundamentos doctrinales timaicos, sin renegar de su formación platónica y boeciana. Por consiguiente, además del explícito valor de sus traducciones y de aquellos textos que tuvieron una gran difusión y recepción, como el De divisione o el De unitate, resulta evidente el valor implícito de la figura de Domingo Gundisalvo como filósofo un contexto cultural irrepetible como lo fue Toledo en el siglo XII.

Download the preface HERE


2013 – Domingo Gundisalvo, Filósofo de frontera, Fundación Ignacio Larramendi, Madrid.

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-09-08-37En esta síntesis de las obras y del pensamiento de Gundisalvo, nos encontramos ante un personaje complejo, un filósofo que acoge críticamente las doctrinas presentes en las obras que traducía del árabe y las liga a las doctrinas latinas para construir un edificio filosófico no epigónico y bien fundado. La peculiaridad del pensamiento gundisalviano reside en su doble papel de traductor y filósofo, como en el caso de su predecesor Hermann y a diferencia de su compañero Gerardo de Cremona, que nunca escribió un obra filosófica. Gundisalvo parece cultivar un interés especulativo bien preciso y directo hacia la recepción crítica de las obras arábigo-hebraicas que traducía, un interés que se manifiesta en las temáticas de tales obras –metafísica, psicología y epistemología– directamente relacionadas con los textos que este autor redactó.

Download it HERE


Edited Volumes

2017 – with A. Fidora, Appropriation, Interpretation and Criticism: Philosophical and Theological Exchanges Between the Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Intellectual Traditions, FIDEM, forthcoming.

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 17.40.36This volume gathers eleven/twelve studies on the intellectual exchanges during the Middle Ages among the three cultures which existed side by side in the same geographical area, i.e. the vast space from the British Isles to the Sahara Desert, and from the Douro Valley to the Hindu Kush. These three cultures – who may not be reduced to their confession or ethnicity – are historically related to each other in many respects, both material (trade, wars, marriages) and immaterial (the interdependence among their religious narratives and their philosophical speculations). The studies herein presented focus on some peculiar examples of the transcultural interactions among exponents of the Arabic, Hebrew and Latin philosophical and theological traditions. While we do not want to downplay the fundamental role of the religious contexts, our focus on the linguistic denominations of these cultures aims at drawing attention to the conceptual medium, or rather media, which underlined and shaped the interactions and interplays among these traditions – interplays that were characterized by the contact of these three languages being used by people of different religious beliefs in their quest for knowledge: Spanish Jews writing in Arabic, Jews collaborating in the translation of Arabic texts into Latin through the vernacular, Western Muslims whose writings were read mainly by Jews and Christians in Hebrew and Latin, etc.


2018 – with M. Benedetto and F. Dal Bo, Solomon Ibn Gabirol: Sources, Doctrines, and Influence on Medieval Philosophy, preliminary agreement with Brepols, forthcoming.

This volume aims at gathering approaches, perspectives, and interpretations of Solomon Ibn Gabirol’s reflection. The volume is articulated into three thematic sections: (A.) Ibn Gabirol’s Sources and «Meta-sources», including the overall philosophical framework of the authors and works used by Ibn Gabirol; (B.) Ibn Gabirol’s Philosophical Reflection, focusing on Ibn Gabirol as a philosopher and also as a poet, with important references to the historical context in which Ibn Gabirol worked; (C.) History of the Effects of Gabirolian Philosophy, regarding its influences in both Jewish and Christian philosophical debates.