Duh-nce Day

"You don't know, what you don't know." Myself, like many others, thought that a "dunce" was a derogatory term for a person that lacked intellect. Well, today is all about learning as we celebrate "Dunce Day", the term "Dunce" and "Dunce Caps". So, lets get right to it and learn about it's creator.

Today marks the death (November 8, 1308) Bl. John Duns Scotus of Duns, Scotland who was a medieval scholar and is generally reckoned to be one of the three most important philosopher-theologians of the High Middle Ages. Scotus has had considerable influence on both Catholic and secular thought, developing a complex argument for the existence of God, and argued for the Immaculate conception of Mary. Perceptions of his views ranged from brilliant to less than complimentary.

Medieval thought was that cone shaped hats increased learning potential, and Bl. John Duns Scotus believed that knowledge would flow from the point of the cap, down and into the head of the wearer, making that person smarter. Scholar critics of his work derived the term "dunce" from his name and place of birth. Thus the term Duns Cap, or "Dunce Cap".

But despite the derogatory use of the term today, there was a positive side to Scotus' use of dunce caps. It motivated the wearer to learn more, and to eventually be rid of the the cap. So put on a Dunce Cap today while you learn and draw this fun character. And remember that if anyone calls you a "dunce", take that as a compliment. Have a very smart and educational Dunce Day!

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