Scotism is a Medieval school of philosophy named after 13th Century philosopher and Franciscan theologian John Duns Scotus. His followers were often referred to as "Dunses", from which the word "dunce" is derived, originally meaning one who opposed classical studies.
Sometimes referred to as the Later Franciscan School, Scotism (like Thomism, the other main Scholastic movement of the Middle Ages), made free use of Aristotelianism in Christian theologizing. Unlike Thomism, however, Scotism adhered more to the teachings of the Older Franciscan School in points such as the plurality of forms or souls, the spiritual matter of angels, the source of venial sin, the doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary (which had been specifically rejected by St. Thomas Aquinas), etc.
The importance of Scotism does not consist solely in its negativity and opposition to Aquinas and the Thomistic school, but it does mark a compromise position between the traditional views, based on the Neo-Platonist approach of St. Augustine, and the more radical departures of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Franciscans and Jesuits generally adopted the Scotist propositions, in opposition to Thomism, as did many Augustinians and Serviters. However, it is only at the beginning of the 16th Century, when Scotus' works were finally collected and edited, that a specifically Scotist School can be spoken of. Its greatest popularity occurred in the 17th Century, and it had declined substantially in influence by the 19th Century.
Notable Scotists include: Francis Mayron (c. 1280 - 1325) in the 14th Century; Pope Alexander V (c. 1339 - 1410), Pope Sixtus IV (1414 - 1484), Elector Frederick III of Saxony (1486 - 1525) and Angelus of Chivasso (1411 - 1495) in the 15th Century; Paul Scriptoris (1460 - 1505) in the 16th Century; Luke Wadding (1588 - 1657), Claude Frassen (1620 -1711) and Francisco Macedo (1596 - 1681) in the 17th Century.