When the school was being planned, the founders wanted a suitable name for it.
In naming it after John Scottus, they picked a philosopher and an Irish one.
John Scottus Eriugena (John of Ireland, from Ireland), to give him his full name, was born around 810 AD in Ireland.
Little is known of his early life. He moved to France around 845 AD, where he took charge of an academy at the court of Charles the Bald, and through his ground-breaking translations of the Greek neo-platonists, and the works he was commissioned to write became the leading light in philosophy of the medieval period.
His philosophy was of primary interest to the founders of JSS: being a neo-Platonist,
a follower of Plato, the Greek Philosopher, of the 5th century BC,
of whose teachings it is said, that all subsequent Western philosophical writings, are merely a footnote. One of Plato’s well known sayings is that “an unexamined life is not worth living”, something that John Scottus would
definitely have agreed with.
John Scottus wrote a number of works, but is best known today for having written Periphyseon, On the Nature of things.
which has been called the final achievement of ancient philosophy,
a work which “synthesizes the philosophical accomplishments of fifteen centuries.”