cover of book

Ibn Tufayl's Hayy Ibn Yaqzan: A Philosophical Tale
by Ibn Tufayl
translated by Lenn Evan Goodman
introduction by Lenn Evan Goodman
notes by Lenn Evan Goodman
University of Chicago Press, 2009
eISBN: 978-0-226-30776-3 | Paper: 978-0-226-30310-9 | Cloth: 978-0-226-30309-3
Library of Congress Classification B753.I53R5313 2009
Dewey Decimal Classification 181.92


The Arabic philosophical fable Hayy Ibn Yaqzan is a classic of medieval Islamic philosophy. Ibn Tufayl (d. 1185), the Andalusian philosopher, tells of a child raised by a doe on an equatorial island who grows up to discover the truth about the world and his own place in it, unaided—but also unimpeded—by society, language, or tradition. Hayy’s discoveries about God, nature, and man challenge the values of the culture in which the tale was written as well as those of every contemporary society.

Goodman’s commentary places Hayy Ibn Yaqzan in its historical and philosophical context. The volume features a new preface and index, and an updated bibliography.

“One of the most remarkable books of the Middle Ages.”—Times Literary Supplement

“An enchanting and puzzling story. . . . The book transcends all historical and cultural environments to settle upon the questions of human life that perpetually intrigue men.”—Middle East Journal

“Goodman has done a service to the modern English reader by providing a readable translation of a philosophically significant allegory.”—Philosophy East and West

“Add[s] bright new pieces to an Islamic mosaic whose general shape is already known.”—American Historical Review

Nearby on shelf for Philosophy (General) / By period / Medieval: