Ibn Tufayl, Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Abd Almalik

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ibn Tufayl, Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Abd Almalik


(Latin, Abubacer). Born circa 1110 in Gaudix, Spain; died 1185 in Marrakech, Morocco. Arab philosopher, physician, astronomer, and statesman.

From 1130 to 1163 ibn Tufayl served as physician and secretary to Caliph Abd al-Mumin and from 1163 to 1184 as vizier and physician to Caliph Yusuf. A representative of the rationalist tendency in Hispano-Arabic philosophy, he linked Aristotelian natural philosophy with the Neoplatonic emanationist conception of god. In his only work that has come down to us, the novel Hayy ibn Yaqian (Russian translation, 1920; translated in the 17th century into Latin, then into almost all European and several Oriental languages), ibn Tufayl depicts the spiritual growth of a man cast off on a desert island. The plot of D. Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe has some features in common with ibn Tufayl’s work.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.