John Duns Scotus, 1266? - 1308

John Duns Scotus was a Scottish theologian and philosopher whose views on faith and reason impacted New England Transcendentalists such as Theodore Parker.  Duns Scotus held that in order to know the truth in all its fullness and to fulfill one's eternal destiny, a person must not only make use of the insights afforded by natural knowledge or philosophy but must also be taught by divine revelation.  His views differed sharply from those of his forerunner, Thomas Aquinas, in that Scotus believed that a direct, intuitive grasp of particular things can be obtained both through the intellect and through the senses.  Like Girolamo Savonarola he believed in the supremacy of the moral sentiment, but without Savonarola's fanaticism.