1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ibn Ṭufail

IBN ṬUFAIL, or Ṭofail [Abū Bakr Maḥommed ibn ‛Abd-ul-Malik ibn Ṭufail ul-Qaisī] (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 (q.v.). He became secretary to the governor of Granada, and later physician and vizier to the Mohad caliph, Abu Ya‘qūb Yūsuf. He died at Morocco.

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 Risālat Hayy ibn Yaqzān; 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 Ṭufail, the Kitāb Asrār ul-Hikma ul-mashraqīyya (“Secrets of Eastern Science”), was published at Bulāq (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.)