Duns Scotus

John Duns OFM (c.1265/66 – 8 November 1308),[9] commonly called Duns Scotus (/ˈsktəs/ SKOH-təs; Ecclesiastical Latin: [duns ˈskotus]; "Duns the Scot"), was a Scottish Catholic priest and Franciscan friar, university professor, philosopher, and theologian. He is one of the four most important philosopher-theologians of Western Europe in the High Middle Ages, together with Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, and William of Ockham.[10] Scotus has had considerable influence on both Catholic and secular thought. The doctrines for which he is best known are the "univocity of being", that existence is the most abstract concept we have, applicable to everything that exists; the formal distinction, a way of distinguishing between different aspects of the same thing; and the idea of haecceity, the property supposed to be in each individual thing that makes it an individual. Scotus also developed a complex argument for the existence of God, and argued for the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

John Duns Scotus
Portrait of Duns Scotus
Other namesDoctor Subtilis (the Subtle Doctor)
Alma materUniversity of Oxford[1][2]
EraMedieval philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
Theological voluntarism[4]
Philosophical realism
Medieval realism (Scotistic realism)
Main interests
Metaphysics, theology, logic, epistemology, ethics
Notable ideas
Univocity of being
Formal distinction
Theological voluntarism
Haecceity as a principle of individuation
Scotistic realism
Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary

John Duns Scotus

Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas
Religious and Priest
Duns, Berwickshire, Scotland
Died8 November 1308(1308-11-08) (aged 41–42)
Cologne, Holy Roman Empire
Venerated inCatholic Church
Beatified20 March 1993, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
Major shrineFranciscan Church, Cologne, Germany
Feast8 November
AttributesBooks, a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the moon on the chest of a Franciscan friar
PatronageAcademics, Cologne, Germany, apologies, scholars, student, theologians and philosophers

Duns Scotus was given the scholastic accolade Doctor Subtilis ("the Subtle Doctor") for his penetrating and subtle manner of thought. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1993.