Ibn Tufayl (ĭˈbən tōfālˈ) [key], d. 1185/86?, 12th-century Spanish-Arab philosopher and physician, b. near Granada. His chief work was a philosophical romance, Hayy ibn Yaqzan, describing the development of a hermit, who, after long seclusion on an island, attains knowledge of the divine. He later comes into contact with a man trained in religion, the point of the work being the conflict between philosophy and religion. The book was translated into several European languages in the 17th cent. and was widely read. Ibn Tufayl, called Abubacer by Europeans, was famous as a physician.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on Ibn Tufayl from Fact Monster:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Philosophy: Biographies