He was one of the most important Franciscan theologians and was the founder of Scotism, a special form of Scholasticism. He was known as Doctor Subtilis because of his subtle merging of differing views.
However later philosophers were not so complimentary about his work and the modern word dunce comes from the name "Dunse" given to his followers.
He died in Cologne and is buried in the Church of the Minorites in Cologne. His sarcophagus bears the Latin inscription: "Scotia me genuit. Anglia me suscepit. Gallia me docuit. Colonia me tenet." ("Scotland brought me forth. England sustained me. France taught me. Cologne holds me.")