Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_684-1


Scotism is a current or school of thought which is linked to the positions that the Franciscan John Duns Scotus taught in Paris. Unlike Thomism, Scotism was not a school in the strict sense (at least not until the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries); instead, the term was commonly used to describe philosophers who adopted Scotus’s way of doing philosophy and theology. Scotism did not play an important role in Renaissance philosophy, with one exception: the University of Padua, which continued the medieval tradition of Scotism. Nevertheless, Scotus and Scotist positions were well regarded and made use of from time to time in Renaissance philosophy.

Although Scotism, unlike Thomism, was mainly characterized by its methodological approach to philosophy and theology, some key doctrines can nevertheless be identified: above all, Scotus’s formal distinction and his theory of grades (on both of which, see below). These doctrines, in particular, have been used over many centuries to identify Scotism, Scotist positions, and Scotists. There are, however, other doctrines which also characterized Scotist thought, such as the theory of the univocity of being, the concept of haecceitas (by which something is individualized), and the form of corporeity.


Fifteenth Century Fourteenth Century Common Nature Loose Grouping Late Fifteenth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


Primary Literature

  1. Duns Scotus, John. 1891. Quaestiones subtilissimae super libros Metaphysicorum Aristotelis. In Opera omnia, ed. Luke Wadding and John Punch, vol. VII. Paris: Apud Ludovicum Vivès.Google Scholar
  2. Gorris, William. c. 1492. Scotus pauperum in quattuor libris Sententiarum. Speyer: Apud Petrum Drach.Google Scholar
  3. Mathurin Le Bret. 1528/29. Parvus Scotus Lavallensis. Anger: Apud Clementem Alexandre, Petrum Arnoul, Johannem Helye.Google Scholar
  4. Mastrius (de Meldola), Bartholomew, and Bonaventura Belluti. 1727. Philosophiae ad mentem Scoti cursus integer, 5 vols. Venice: Apud Nicolaum Pezzana.Google Scholar
  5. Smising, Theodor. 1627. Disputationum theologicarum, 2 vols. Antwerp: Apud Guilielmum Lesteenium.Google Scholar

Secondary Literature

  1. Ariew, Roger. 2000. Scotists, Scotists everywhere. Intellectual News 8: 14–21.Google Scholar
  2. Bak, Felix. 1956. Scoti schola numerosior est omnibus aliis simul sumptis. Franciscan Studies 16: 144–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bolliger, Daniel. 2003. Infiniti contemplatio: Grundzüge der Scotus- und Scotismusrezeption im Werk Huldrych Zwinglis. Leiden/Boston: Brill.Google Scholar
  4. Cross, Richard. 1999. Duns Scotus. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Di Napoli, Giovanni. 1978. Duns Scoto nel rinascimento italiano. In Regnum Hominis et Regnum Dei. Acta Quarti Congressus Scotistici Internationalis Patavii, ... 1976, II: Sectio specialis. La tradizione scotista veneto-padovana, ed. Camille Bérubé, 265–282. Rome: Societas Internationalis Scotistica.Google Scholar
  6. Duba, William O. 2012. The Souls after Vienne: Franciscan Theologians’ Views on the Plurality of Forms and the Plurality of Souls, ca. 1315–30. In Psychology and the other disciplines: a case of cross-disciplinary interaction (1250–1750), ed. Paul J. J. M. Bakker, Sander W. De Boer, and Cees Leijenhorst, 171–272. Leiden etc.: Brill.Google Scholar
  7. Dumont, Stephen D. 1995. The question on individuation in Scotus’s “Quaestiones super Metaphysicam”. In Via Scoti. Methodologia ad mentem Joannis Duns Scoti. Atti del Congresso Scotistico Internazionale, Roma ... 1993, ed. Leonardo Sileo, vol. I, 193–227. Rome: PAA – Edizioni Antonianum.Google Scholar
  8. Edwards, Michael. 2009. Medieval philosophy in the Late Renaissance: The Case of Internal and External Time in Scotist Metaphysics. In Renaissance Medievalisms, ed. Konrad Eisenbichler, 229–248. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies.Google Scholar
  9. Gaetano, Matthew T. 2013. Renaissance Thomism at the University of Padua, 1465–1583. PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania. http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2023&context=edissertations
  10. Hoenen, Maarten J.F.M. 1997. Thomismus, Skotismus und Albertismus. Das Entstehen und die Bedeutung von philosophischen Schulen im späten Mittelalter. Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch für Antike und Mittelalter 2: 81–103.Google Scholar
  11. Hoenen, Maarten J.F.M. 1998. Scotus and the Scotist School. The tradition of Scotist thought in the medieval and early modern period. In John Duns Scotus (1265/6 – 1308). Renewal of Philosophy. Acts of the Third Symposium Organized by the Dutch Society for Medieval Philosophy Medium Aevum, ed. Egbert P. Bos, 197–210. Amsterdam/Atlanta: Rodopi.Google Scholar
  12. Knebel, Sven K. 1995. Skotismus. In Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, ed. Joachim Ritter and Karlfried Gründer, vol. IX, 988–991. Basel: Schwabe.Google Scholar
  13. Mahoney, Edward P. 1978. Duns Scotus and the school of Padua around 1500. In Regnum Hominis et Regnum Dei. Acta Quarti Congressus Scotistici Internationalis Patavii, ... 1976, II: Sectio specialis. La tradizione scotista veneto-padovana, ed. Camille Bérubé, 215–227. Rome: Societas Internationalis Scotistica.Google Scholar
  14. Monfasani, John. 1993. Aristotelians, Platonists, and the Missing Ockhamists: Philosophical Liberty in PreReformation Italy. Renaissance Quarterly 46: 247–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Pini, Giorgio. 2010. Scotus’s legacy. In 1308: Eine Topographie historischer Gleichzeitigkeit, ed. Andreas Speer and David Wirmer, 486–515. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  16. Roest, Bert. 2000. A history of Franciscan education (c. 1210–1517). Leiden/Boston/Cologne: Brill.Google Scholar
  17. Roßmann, Heribert. 1989. Franziskanerschule. In Lexikon des Mittelalters, vol. IV, 824–830. Munich/Zurich: Artemis.Google Scholar
  18. Schmitt, Charles B. 1978. Filippo Fabriʼs philosophia naturalis Io. Duns Scoti and its relation to Paduan Aristotelianism. In Regnum Hominis et Regnum Dei. Acta Quarti Congressus Scotistici Internationalis Patavii, ... 1976, II: Sectio specialis. La tradizione scotista veneto-padovana, ed. Camille Bérubé, 305–312. Rome: Societas Internationalis Scotistica.Google Scholar
  19. Schmutz, Jacob. 2002. L’héritage des subtils: cartographie du Scotisme de l’âge classique. Les études philosophiques 60: 51–81.Google Scholar
  20. Schmutz, Jacob. 2016. Was duns scotus a voluntarist? Juan caramuel lobkowitz against the bratislava franciscans. Filosofický Časopis Special Issue: 147–184.Google Scholar
  21. Williams, Thomas. 2016. John Duns Scotus. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2016 Edition), ed. Edward N. Zalta. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2016/entries/duns-scotus/. Accessed 5 July 2016.
  22. Zahnd, Ueli. 2014. Wirksame Zeichen? Sakramentenlehre und Semiotik in der Scholastik des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.Google Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thomas-InstitutUniversität zu KölnKölnGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jill Kraye
    • 1