“With the possible exception of the Thousand and One Nights, no work from the literary heritage of classical Islam has been published or translated as frequently as Ibn Tufayl’s Hayy ibn Yaqzan” (Conrad 1996, 267). Indeed, few works in world literature have been rewritten, imitated and plagiarised as many times as this philosophical novel, written in Arabic by an Andulusian philosopher around 1180. Ben Zaken (2011), Aravamundan (2014) and Ferlier and Gallien (2019) have described the circulation of the book between different languages and religious spheres as well as its reappropriation in theological and philosophical debates in Europe.
The novel is an important step in the history of isolated children narratives. The ‘isolated child’ thought-experiment had already been
Citation: Durand, Beatrice. "Hayy ibn Yaqzan by Ibn Tufayl: its influence on European Thought and Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 November 2019 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19574, accessed 03 December 2023.]