Potestas Essendi

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

Books & Volumes

Domingo Gundisalvo. Una introducción  DOWNLOAD

Editorial Sindéresis, Madrid, 2017 – link 

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.

Appropriation, Interpretation and Criticism: Philosophical and Theological Exchanges Between the Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Intellectual Traditions  DOWNLOAD

with Alexander Fidora, TEMA/FIDEM, Barcelona – Roma, 2017 – link 

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, …

Domingo Gundisalvo, Filósofo de frontera DOWNLOAD

Fundación Larramendi, Madrid, 2013 – link

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.


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.

‘De peregrinationibus animae apud infernos’, an Anonymous Twelfth-Century Treatise

(pre-contract with Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations – link)

Written in Spain in the second half of the twelfth century, the anonymous treatise On the Peregrinations of the Soul in the Afterlife (De peregrinationibus animae apud inferos, or ‘Anonymous D’Alverny’) is a short work firstly identified and edited by Marie-Therese D’Alverny (‘Les pérégrinations de l’âme dans l’autre monde d’après un anonyme de la fine du XIIe siècle’, Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Âge 13 (1940-1942): 280-299). The treatise is one of the few witnesses of the first Latin assimilation of Arabic sources in the twelfth century, and particularly, the Peregrinatio is referred to the first stage of the Latin reception of Avicenna, called ‘Philosophia prima without Metaphysica’ by Amos Bertolacci (‘On the Latin Reception of Avicenna’s Metaphysics before Albertus Magnus: An Attempt at Periodization’, in A. Bertolacci – D.N. Hasse (eds.), The Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Reception of Avicenna’s Metaphysics, Berlin 2012, pp. 197-223). The work is centred on the description of the destiny of the soul after its separation from the body, that is, it offers an account of the progressive ascension to God and descent to the underworld. The main sources used by the authors are Avicenna, the Liber de causis, Ibn Gabirol’s Fons vitae, Augustine, and Gundissalinus. In my book, I will provide a critical revision of the text based on the comparison between D’Alverny’s edition and the manuscript witness, together with an English translation and an historical/philosophical introduction in which I will propose a new hypothesis regarding the authorship of the treatise.