Today In Fact, 8 November

John Duns Scotus died today in 1308. He is not to be confused with the later John Scotus Eriugena who was stabbed to death with pens by his students some three centuries later. The Duns Scotus we celebrate today believed that wearing pointy hats would improve the intelligence of his students and this is where the dunce cap comes from. His real contribution to our civilization was to introduce words such as “univocity”, “haecceity” into philosophy. He also seems to be the first person to argue for the immaculate conception of Mary.

– Posted by Douglas Racionzer (

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