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Diario de Navarra
José Ángel García Cuadrado
On September 4, Full Professor José Luis Fernández Rodríguez died in Pamplona.
He was born in Muiños (Orense) in 1935. He studied his university programs of study at the Complutense University of Madrid, which he finished in 1960. He moved to Pamplona where he received his doctorate from the School of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Navarra in 1970 with a thesis on Francisco de Araujo (award Extraordinary), under the direction of Professor Jesús García López. It was an original research that came to bring out of oblivion the speculative richness of the Spanish scholasticism of the sixteenth and seventeenth century, and that served as the basis for all his later research . He made stays of research at the University of Louvain (1969-1970) with Professor A. Dondyene; at the University of Köln in 1979 with Professor A. Zimmermann; and in Oxford in 1990 with Professor Mc Cracken.
He joined the academic staff of the Section of Philosophy of the University of Navarra in the early 70's, when the first steps of this academic center were being taken, with professors such as Leonardo Polo, Patricio Peñalver, or the aforementioned García López. As time went by, other professors joined the faculty, who would come to make up a faculty of great academic stature: Juan José Rodríguez Rosado, Rafael Alvira, Alejandro Llano, Ángel Luis González, Jacinto Choza, Modesto Santos, Juan Cruz, etc. Each of them specialized in different areas while maintaining their particular philosophical sensibility, giving life to lively discussions in unforgettable professors' seminars. He married the Navarre pharmacist Pilar Ygartua, who taught at School Pharmacy.
Subsequently, Professor Fernández obtained by civil service examination the Chair of Metaphysics at the University of Murcia and rejoined the University of Navarra as Full Professor. From 1991 to 1996 he was director of department of History of the Philosophy. He also taught History of the modern Philosophy at the School Ecclesiastical De Philosophy. The result of these classes is his guide on this discipline (written jointly with Professor María Jesús Soto), which has gone through several editions. From 1998 to 2004, he was Dean of this School, replacing the first Dean, priest Mariano Artigas. His dedication to the students and his affability quickly won him the affection of all. He was highly respected and loved by the students who saw in him a true master of Philosophy and of life. His cloister colleagues remember him for his affable character, always knowing how to maintain a noble friendship; and a great intellectual honesty and humility.
From the academic point of view, he was known mainly for his writings on French rationalism, particularly on Descartes and Malebranche, in addition to his programs of study of God in modern philosophers as The God of Descartes, The God of Malebranche, The God of Hume and The God of Berkeley. On them he taught as Visiting Professor courses at various universities in Chile (Universidad Católica de Chile and Universidad de Valparaíso) and Mexico (Universidad Panamericana).
In recent years he was not in good health, but he knew how to maintain his usual cheerful serenity, with simplicity and dedication to his wife (who died a few months ago) and his family. He was a discreet man who shunned show business, but he left a deep impression on those who had the good fortune to know him and get to know him.