Talk:Duns Scotus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team / v0.7 (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article has been reviewed by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
Checklist icon
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the importance scale.
Note icon
This article is within of subsequent release version of Philosophy and religion.
Taskforce icon
This article has been selected for Version 0.7 and subsequent release versions of Wikipedia.
This article has been mentioned by a media organization:

What is this sentence trying to mean?[edit]

"For Scotus, the axiom stating that only the individual exists is a dominating principle of the understanding of reality." What on earth does this mean? What point is the author trying to express? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:20, 31 December 2012 (UTC)


A source I have, which is extremely consistent with approximation of dates whether they are 'circa' or not, places John Duns Scotus' life as "1270-1308" not "c. 1266-" as is currently on the page. Nagelfar 07:19, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

1266 seems to be the most common date listed in the Internet (which may be due to this article). The Catholic Encyclopedia, like your source, cites 1270. "Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche" cites 1265, as does the official biography of the German church for his feast day. Mpolo 09:34, Oct 19, 2004 (UTC)
There is one certain date - 17 March 1291 when he is ordained. Ordination was usually conducted, when person was at least 25 years of age. Assuming everything was done correctly, Duns Scotus must have been born no later than 1266, 17 March. (cf Richard Cross, Duns Scotus, Oxford University Press 1999). -- Aethralis 13:02, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

We should probably put the Cross information in, since it explains the conjectual status of the dating well. 1265-1266 is what the Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus says. Evan Donovan 01:09, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Request for expansion[edit]

I think we need more on his philosophy and its influence on later philosophers and theologians (incl. Calvin). The German Wikipedia seems to have quite a lot, if anyone who reads this can translate that language. French looked good as well. (I'm just going by relative length.) Evan Donovan 01:14, 28 March 2006 (UTC) (sorry forget sig - always do that)

Recently, the current Pope made some interesting remarks on Scotus that perhaps should be included in any expansion:
"In all honesty, one must observe that in the late Middle Ages we find trends in theology which would sunder this synthesis between the Greek spirit and the Christian spirit. In contrast with the so-called intellectualism of Augustine and Thomas, there arose with Duns Scotus a voluntarism which ultimately led to the claim that we can only know God's "voluntas ordinata." Beyond this is the realm of God's freedom, in virtue of which he could have done the opposite of everything he has actually done.
This gives rise to positions which clearly approach those of Ibn Hazn and might even lead to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness. God's transcendence and otherness are so exalted that our reason, our sense of the true and good, are no longer an authentic mirror of God, whose deepest possibilities remain eternally unattainable and hidden behind his actual decisions.
As opposed to this, the faith of the Church has always insisted that between God and us, between his eternal Creator Spirit and our created reason there exists a real analogy, in which unlikeness remains infinitely greater than likeness, yet not to the point of abolishing analogy and its language (cf. Lateran IV).
God does not become more divine when we push him away from us in a sheer, impenetrable voluntarism; rather, the truly divine God is the God who has revealed himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf. Certainly, love "transcends" knowledge and is thereby capable of perceiving more than thought alone (cf. Ephesians 3:19); nonetheless it continues to be love of the God who is logos. Consequently, Christian worship is "logic latreía" -- worship in harmony with the eternal Word and with our reason (cf. Romans 12:1)." (Papal Address at University of Regensburg, "Three Stages in the Program of De-Hellenization", REGENSBURG, Germany, SEPT. 12, 2006)
The Pope is indicating that Scotus has gone too far in his 'voluntarism' and that has, perhaps inadvertently, led to 'irrationalism' in theology. Perhaps this is why he was never declared a Saint by the Church? Pomonomo2003 07:46, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

I would like to know why the word dunce has come to mean fool. All the article says right now is "later philosophers weren't complimentary" of him. Why not?

According to Websters II: New Riverside University Dictionary, the followers ofJohn Duns Scotus were known for their resistance to new ideas and theology. The meaning of the term "dunce", during the course of the 16th century, change from "an un-scolarly person" to "stupid". 78.26 (talk) 18:42, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Nominalism vs Realism[edit]

"Duns Scotus is a realist (as opposed to nominalist), in that his metaphysics deals with things rather than with concepts."

It's a shame to find such a thing written in Wikipedia! Realism in that sense deals with concepts. Nominalism, with "things"...

As for that, neither is true, the entire quarell is just an symptom of the general ignorance of the authors. Scotus is realist in the matter of universals, that is, he believes that the content of universal concepts is realised within things. He is also an epistemic realist, that is, he believes that we can know things directly.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14 January 2012

Dunce cap Does anyone know anything definite about this dunce cap business? It looks like an urban legend as presented here. I have this to say agianst it: the conical shape of the cap suggests catholic penitential garb; precisely the same type of cap was used for the same reason insschools in France called the Ans (Donkey) cap. 19:11, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Its not an urban legend. Persons incapable of learning are often called "Dunces". As in the famous book "A Confederacy of Dunces", which title is based on the quote "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.". From Jonathan Swifts Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting. Mahjongg 10:42, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
In case of Scotus, it is nonsense, he is called so because he was born in Duns, Scotland.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14 January 2012

Lead sentence[edit]

"The others being Aquinas, Ockham and Bonaventura"? Really, just those three? Not Abelard or Averroës or Bacon, just off the top of my head? Unless we can find an _extremely_ reliable source that puts Scotus, Aquinas, Ockham and Bonaventura into some special category, I think that this sentence should go. Tevildo (talk) 15:45, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

No comments in the previous two weeks - I've removed the sentence. Tevildo (talk) 22:25, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

DNB fork[edit]

I have redirected Joannes Scotus Duns here which was recently created from the 1888 Dictionary of National Biography entry. If someone finds useful material there you could merge it, but keep in mind that scholarship in this area has progressed a lot since then. It would be very inappropriate for instance to do something like that at Roger Bacon. Have mörser, will travel (talk) 09:19, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Johannes Scotus Eriugena[edit]

"Not to be confused with the earlier Irish theologian and philosopher Johannes Scotus Eriugena."

Does this sentence (fragment) really belong at the end of the introduction? I think it would be better suited as part of the disambiguation text instead. Kristephanie (talk) 00:13, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Fixed. Kristephanie (talk) 15:10, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Premature Burial[edit]

All I know this guy for is premature burial, he's even listed in the article. No mention of it here, what gives? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:19, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

I found this article from there as well. Should the former be corrected? It tells a pretty different story... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:51, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

I agree, someone should defiantly at least mention it. I came to this page specifically so I could find more information about his premature death. I find it a bit upsetting that it isn't even mentioned, not even in passing. Lil mail (talk) 21:54, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

I also agree, the article says that the story of his premature burial is probably a myth, but this needs more detail. Why is the account of him being exhumed a myth? If "Historia vitae et mortis" is in error, then who's the source that it is in error? Walterego (talk) 10:34, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Awful Quality[edit]

The article is full of misinformations and grave errors. I have not time to correct them all, but clearly it need a thorough revision by someone who at least knows what "nominalism" and "realism" means.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14 January 2012

His first name?[edit]

It might not be a major point, but shouldn't the title of the entry include his first name? Daniel the Monk (talk) 19:18, 19 January 2012 (UTC)


The subtitle "Categories" seems way too general. Everything said about categories applies to all of Scotus' predecessors as well. -- (talk) 07:39, 30 March 2012 (UTC)


The article says: "There is also a formal distinction between the divine attributes and the powers of the soul."

I think it should say: "There is also a formal distinction between the divine attributes and between the powers of the soul."

Otherwise it could possibly be interpreted to mean: "There is also a formal distinction of the divine attributes from the powers of the soul. (talk) 23:28, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

"for the whole totality of dependent things is cause, and not on anything belonging to that totality."

I'm not sure how this should be worded. Is there a typo? Is "cause" where "caused" should be? I don't know. (talk) 23:19, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

East does not hold Immaculate Conception to be heresy[edit]

I edited out a comment that said that the East regards the Immaculate Conception to be heresy. There is no controlling authority that has declared the Immaculate Conception a heresy, and such a label is deeply confusing. It would be better to say that such terminology is alien to the Eastern Churches:

The Eastern Churches hold that the Blessed Virgin Mary was without the guilt of sin. Never having defined original sin along the lines of St. Augustine, whose sainthood is recognized in the East, but whose writings were largely unknown in the East for many centuries, however, they also do not recognize the guiltlessness of Mary as something which distinguishes her from the rest of humanity. Augustine taught that all mankind shares in the guilt of original sin; In the East, this teaching is neither considered heretical, but neither is it recognized as a premise on which to base further syllogisms.

Recent edits[edit]

When an editor removes 1/3 of an article with his first edit, he should not be surprised to be reverted and stay reverted. If you want to introduce changes on that scale, I suggest you propose them in broad outline here, and then work section by section. Johnbod (talk) 18:37, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

The problem is that the whole page has turned into a blatant hoax, and you are helping the page retaind all of its false content. Why don't you open your eyes and look at the edit history. The whole page was the subject of attacks and defacement for months, and nobody has ever done anything, except for banned user Ed who got banned again for trying to help. Shame on you. Brutdaven (talk) 19:25, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
As Johnbod outlined above, you've simply been asked to discuss your proposed changes first. That is not an unreasonable request. --Ckatzchatspy 19:27, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I've looked at the history, & I note that your version is essentially a rvt to the last version by Quisquilae (aka Peter Damien/Dr Ed) before he got banned. I've also glanced at the great chunks of stuff removed, & though it's certainly not my field they don't look like "hoax" material to me. You need to make your case. Johnbod (talk) 20:01, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't need to discuss anything. Look at the page and fix it, otherwise it will remain full of incorrect facts. Or call an expert of philosophy (like your friend you called Ed) and let him examine the page, so he can correct it for you. Just because we can't see anything to be incorrect in the page, it doesn't mean that the page is right. Brutdaven (talk) 21:13, 14 November 2012 (UTC)


Are we confident that Scotland was part of the English province? And if so, in what regard and degree? Some Papal fundraising was administered on a 'Britan-wide' basis, but the Bull 'Filia specialis' accorded the church in Scotland a unique identity and direct relationship to the Papacy. Interested to read opinions of others.... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 4 March 2014 (UTC)


I just read[1],[2] that "dunce" and the "dunce cap" were named for the subject of this page, long after he died, to ridicule followers of his philosophy.
Dick Kimball (talk) 16:52, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Scotus and Incarnation[edit]

Scotus' view of the Incarnation is apparently significant and needs to be documented. Aquinas viewed the Incarnation as God's remedy for a fallen planet ... Duns Scotus and his school suggested that Incarnation was the underlying motive for Creation, not merely a correction to it. Here is the text from the following website:

"A key point of the Franciscan/Scotistic view, which catches many people by surprise, is this: The Word of God did not become a creature, a human being, because Adam and Eve sinned. Rather, the Divine Word became flesh because, from all eternity, God wanted Jesus Christ to be creation’s most perfect work. Christ was to be the model and crown of creation and of humanity — the glorious destination toward which all creation is straining. In short, the Word would have been incarnated in Christ even if the first man and woman had never sinned.

Scotus’ viewpoint has gained prominence in recent times. It has been adopted by such notable Catholic thinkers as Gerard Manley Hopkins, the Jesuit poet; Thomas Merton, the Trappist writer; and Teilhard de Chardin, the Jesuit-priest-anthropologist. “Christ is not an afterthought in the divine place,” writes Chardin. “He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of all things.”


According to Scotus, God’s first intention — from all eternity — was that human nature be glorified by being united to the divine Word. And this was to happen regardless of the first humans’ innocence or sinfulness. To say that the Incarnation of Christ was an afterthought of God, dependent on Adam and Eve’s fall, would be to base the rich Christian theology of Incarnation on sin! Theologians could do better than that — and Duns Scotus did.

Given humanity’s sin, the way Christ eventually came was in the form of a savior whose great act of love and self-surrender set us free.

In Scotus’ view, however, the God-man would have entered creation and human history as the perfect model of the human being fully alive under any circumstance. It was not Adam who provided the blueprint or pattern that God used in shaping the humanity of Christ.

It was the other way around, insists Scotus: Christ was the model in God’s mind according to which Adam and Eve, as well as the rest of the human race, were created. We can rightly say, therefore, that the Incarnation was not simply some kind of “Plan B arrangement,” or “last-minute cure,” to offset the sin of Adam and Eve. On the contrary, it was God’s “Plan A” from the beginning."

I hope some competent person picks up this point CarlosChio (talk) 20:12, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Citation 24[edit]

It cites Ordinatio III, d.3, q.1 for his defense of the immaculate conception, but that text is actually about "Whether a material substance is individual or singular from itself or from its nature".

According to this article he addresses that doctrine in "Volume XX of the Lectura in Librum Tertium Sententiarum, in the third distincio, first quaestio, which has the title Utrum Beata Virgo fuerit concepta in peccato originali (Regarding whether the Blessed Virgin was conceived in original sin)."

Meandro del rio (talk) 14:35, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Requested move 27 September 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved. People seem to accept that 'Duns Scotus' is the COMMONNAME. Evidently WP:PRECISION is fine with the short version of his name. IIO pointed to MOS:BIO as an argument for the longer name, but that guideline only says "While the article title should generally be the name by which the subject is most commonly known, the subject's full name should be given in the lead paragraph, if known...". So the cited guidelines are fully consistent with the short name, which is what the majority prefers anyway. EdJohnston (talk) 18:46, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Duns ScotusJohn Duns Scotus – No reason to exclude his Christian name. Zacwill16 (talk) 20:12, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Support normal Bio MOS. In ictu oculi (talk) 23:29, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, WP:PRECISION. Rarely referred to as plain John Duns, usually referred to by the byname Duns Scotus, John Duns Scotus is a lesser-used amalgam of the two and no more his "real" name than Duns Scotus so no reason to prefer it. Mutt Lunker (talk) 09:19, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
John is the name he was given at birth, rather than a byname bestowed on him in later life (Duns and Scotus are both bynames, one referring to his hometown and the other to his nationality). Zacwill16 (talk) 22:30, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
That's neither here nor there: the byname (bestowed on him in later life) Duns Scotus, not the given name/byname combo John Duns Scotus, is the name that he is overwhelmingly known by and he was not called the latter, in full, at birth. We have a Pelé article, not an Edson (Arantes do Nascimento) Pelé one. Steven Morrissey? It's not as if there's a need for disambiguation from other Duns Scotuses either. Again, WP:PRECISION. Mutt Lunker (talk) 22:56, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. He's better known as "Duns Scotus", and as noted the proposed title is synthetic. (talk) 11:25, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Current name is COMMONNAME.--SabreBD (talk) 22:55, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Yes, there's EVERY reason to stick to his COMMONNAME. I hope you don't do many such noms. Johnbod (talk) 22:17, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, but no strong feelings I am co-author of Duns Scotus on Time and Existence, which uses the short name, but the opening sentence reads "John Duns Scotus was born between 1265 and 1266". The short name is used for convenience, the long name is his customary title. I say 'customary' – he was probably known as John Duns or Johannes Duns during his lifetime, "following the medieval practice of referring to people by their Christian or given name and place of origin". The Opera Philosophica series uses the long name (Ioannes Duns Scotus), as just about any Latin edition I know of, including this 1583 edition of his Logic, the famous 1639 Wadding edition, Wadding Vives. In Noone and Gracia's A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages the chapter on Scotus has the long title. So does the SEP entry. But Frank and Wolters' book on his metaphysics is called Duns Scotus, Metphysician, so it hardly matters. On balance, the long name is probably best. It is very Wikipedian to be fussing around on details like this. Why not help improve the article, which is still something of a mess? Peter Damian (talk) 09:26, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Speaking of 'a mess', I just noticed a remarkable piece of vandalism, still uncorrected. Please note I never correct crude vandalism. Peter Damian (talk) 11:30, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Per this edit and MOS:POSS, the implication would seem to be that Scotus' is regarded as actively incorrect and Scotus's actively correct? Is there a significantly preferred form? The change to Jesus's seems more clearly less desirable. Mutt Lunker (talk) 14:46, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 2 external links on Duns Scotus. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 20:53, 17 December 2016 (UTC)