National Dunce Day - November 8
Wed, Nov 8, 2023

National Dunce Day

National Dunce Day is celebrated every year on November 8th in honor of the anniversary of the death of the Scottish philosopher John Duns Scotus. Duns Scotus became famous for putting forward views so simple that they seemed ridiculous, such as stating that a pointed hat increased learning efficiency and improved memorization abilities.


It is not known for certain who and when came up with National Dunce Day, however, it is celebrated annually to motivate people to learn, as well as reveal the true meaning of the word “dunce”. John Scott was a Catholic priest, philosopher, theologian, and taught at the university. He was born in 1265 (in some sources – 1266), and died suddenly on November 8, 1308. According to one version, he was buried alive, because at the time of death his servant was not around, who knew that John Scott was predisposed to a coma. This version is not supported by facts. He is included in the list of the most significant philosophers of the Middle Ages who lived in Western Europe and his teachings greatly influenced religion and secular life.

Interesting facts

  • John Scot offered arguments supporting the existence of God, as well as evidence for the virgin birth of the Virgin Mary.
  • After his death, Duns Scott was posthumously awarded the “Doctor Subtilis” award for an incredibly subtle way of thinking.
  • In 1993 Pope John Paul II beatified the Scottish scholar.
  • Until 1878 girls did not have the right to study in Oxford, and during the Civil War the city was the capital of England.

How to take part

On this day, wear a silly hat – make one for yourself and your friends who share your hobbies. Read more about the life of John Scott from Scotland.unfortunately, not much is known about him, but if you go to the archive or library, you will surely find interesting information. It is known that John Scott was a versatile person, so follow his example and find a new hobby for yourself – start mastering a new skill or learning a foreign language. National Dunce Day motivates us to start learning, so take the time and sign up for a master class, online course or seminar.

When is National Dunce Day celebrated in 2023?

National Dunce Day is observed on November 8 each year.


Weekday Month Day Year
Wednesday November 8 2023
Friday November 8 2024
Saturday November 8 2025
Sunday November 8 2026

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