John Duns Scotus

There were other contributors to the expansion of the medieval mind. One of them was John Duns Scotus (c. 1265–1308) He was nicknamed The Subtle Doctor.

Scotus was a Franciscan monk who endorsed many of the precepts of Augustine, yet differed on other key elements, including the necessity of “illumination.” Humans have the intellect to comprehend God and his wonders without a celestial cheat sheet. Being a cleric and a man of his time, dogma rules as far as Scotus is concerned. He spins the notion of Universals by suggesting that they exist as Forms (to be found in the mind of God) and as part of the physical things they represent (as perceived in the mind of man). Aquinas has the intellect pre-eminent over the human will; Scotus said that will is more important than intellect. This led to a great medieval debate known as the Thomist-Scotist controversy.

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