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The Core Curriculum

Hayy Ibn Yaqzān


Ibn Tufayl

1105 CE – 1185 CE

In the 1630’s, a young English chaplain named Edward Pococke found himself in the city of Aleppo during his travels through the Levant, where he chanced upon an Arabic treatise titled Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān, literally, “Alive Son of Awake.”  The treatise, a “novel” composed by the 12th century Islamic philosopher Ibn Ṭufayl, concerns a man named Ḥayy who grows up on an island somewhere near the equator in complete seclusion from human society. 

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