A dunce is a joking person considered to be incapable of learning.The word is derived from the name of the Scholastic theologian and philosopher John Duns Scotus, also referred to as Doctor Subtillis, or "Subtle Doctor", whose works on logic, theology and philosophy were accepted textbooks in the universities from the 14th century.Duns or Dunsman was a name applied by early opponents to the followers of Duns Scotus, who were less disparagingly called the Scotists. When, in the 16th century, the Scotists obstinately opposed the new learning (i.e., the King James Bible), the term duns or dunce became, in the mouths of the Protestants a term of abuse, a synonym for one incapable of scholarship.
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