Ibn Tufail - Encyclopedia

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IBN TUFAIL, or ToFAIL [Abu Bakr Mahommed ibn `Abd-ulMalik ibn Tufail ul-Qaisi] (d. 1185), Moslem philosopher, was born at Guadix near Granada. There he received a good training in philosophy and medicine, and is said to have been a pupil of Avempace. He became secretary to the governor of Granada, and later physician and vizier to the Mohad caliph, Abu Ya`qub Yusuf. He died at Morocco.

1 Summary in E. G. Browne, A Literary History of Persia (London, 1902), pp. 387 f.

The preface was translated into German by Theodor Noldeke in his Beitrage (Hanover, 1864), pp. 1-51.

His chief work is a philosophical romance, in which he describes the awakening and growth of intellect in a child removed from the influences of ordinary life. Its Arabic title is Risalat Hayy ibn Yagzan; it was edited by E. Pococke as Philosophus autodidactus (Oxford, 1671; 2nd ed., 1700), and with a French translation by L. Gauthier (Algiers, 1900). An English translation by S. Ockley was published in 1708 and has been reprinted since. A Spanish translation by F. Pons Boigues was published at Saragossa (1900). Another work of Ibn Tufail, the Kitab Asrar ulIjikma ul-mashragiyya ("Secrets of Eastern Science;"), was published at Bulaq (1882); cf. S. Munk, Mélanges (1859), pp. 410 sqq., and T. J. de Boer, Geschichte der Philosophie im Islam (Stuttgart, 1901), pp. 160 sqq. (also an English translation). (G. W. T.)

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