Dr Tonner's Duns Scotus Talk

The School’s Head of Philosophy and Religion is to present a key talk at a festival to mark the 750th anniversary of the birth of one of Scotland’s most important philosophers.

Dr Philip Tonner, who is also the Director of the Hutchesons’ Centre for Research, will speak at a John Duns Scotus Study Day on the relevance of the philosopher to contemporary philosophy.

The Study Day which is being held in Christ Church, Duns in the Scottish Borders on Saturday, will see a number of Scotus scholars from around the country and further afield share their knowledge and research findings.

The purpose of the day is to consider the place of John Duns Scotus, who was born in the town of Duns around 1266, in historic and contemporary religious thought and philosophy.

It is hoped that the festival will bring the importance of his works to a new audience. Speaking in an interview for the BBC, Dr Tonner said: “One of the problems, of course, is that medieval philosophy became seen to be something associated with very esoteric problems about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin and so on.

"This is a very unfair depiction of what medieval philosophers were trying to do.

"It is one of those unfortunate accidents of history that it has become associated with Duns Scotus who in many ways is certainly one of Scotland's most important philosophers and one who is still making headlines in both theology and philosophy."

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