This question became a symbol for the silly and pointless sophistry of medieval scholastics. But as modern scholarship has shown scholastics was not such a thoughtless desert as some of its caricatures: the role of Duns Scotus and Ockham in the development of epistemology and modal logic is well known, as is the influence of Buridan and Oresme on science and philosophy of Descartes and Galileo, the problem of universals is still actively discussed. Still I was surprised to read this in Butterfield-Isham's paper (p.46) on modern physics:
"This situation inevitably prompts the sceptical question why we are spending time and effort discussing possible philosophical implications of an equation [the Wheeler-DeWitt equation in quantum gravity] that is mathematically meaningless! Are we as misguided as the medieval scholastics are often taken to have been, in their discussions of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? We believe not. Indeed, as philosophers know well, the scholastics’ discussions were not as misdirected as folklore suggests. They addressed deep, maybe perennial, issues about personal identity and spatiotemporal location, in terms of their era’s accepted ontology; which included angels".
Wikipedia has an article on the title question that mentions Duns Scotus and Acquinas, but is thin on philosophy. Can someone fill in the details. In what philosophical context was the question originally discussed? What "deep, maybe perennial, issues about personal identity and spatiotemporal location" were addressed by it? What were the positions and the arguments? Does it resonate with some modern discussions?