Commonly translated as "The Self-Taught Philosopher" or "The Improvement of Human Reason," Ibn Tufayl's story Hayy Ibn-Yaqzan inspired debates about autodidacticism in a range of historical fields from classical Islamic philosophy through Renaissance humanism and the European Enlightenment. Avner Ben-Zaken's account of the text's travels reveals the intricate cross-cultural ways by which autodidacticism was contested in and adopted into diverse cultural settings.
In tracing the circulation of the Hayy Ibn-Yaqzan, Ben-Zaken highlights its key place in four far-removed historical moments. He explains how autodidacticism intertwined with struggles over mysticism in twelfth-century Marrakesh, with controversies about pedagogy in fourteenth-century Barcelona, with quarrels concerning astrology in Renaissance Florence, and with debates pertaining to experimentalism in seventeenth-century Oxford. In each locus and period, Ben-Zaken recaptures the cultural context that stirred scholars to relate to Hayy Ibn-Yaqzan and demonstrates how the text traveled among cultures, leaving in its wake translations, interpretations, and controversies as various as the societies themselves. Presented as self-contained histories, these four moments together form a historical collage of autodidacticism across cultures from the late Medieval era to early modern times.
The first book-length intellectual history of autodidacticism, this novel, thought-provoking work will interest a wide range of historians, including scholars of the history of science, philosophy, literature, Europe, and the Middle East.
|Hardcover Book, 208 pages||English|
|Johns Hopkins University Press (Dec. 16th, 2010)||Unknown|
|9780801897399||6.20 x 9.00 x 0.90 inches|
|General European Literary Criticism|