The Vital Roots of European Enlightenment
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The Vital Roots of European Enlightenment : Ibn Tufayl's Influence on Modern Western Thought

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The Vital Roots of European Enlightenment is a collection of essays dealing with the influence of Ibn Tufayl, a 12th-century Arab philosopher from Spain, on major European thinkers. Had Edward Said known about the impact of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan on Europe throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, he might have reached different conclusions in his book Orientalism.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 194 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.52 x 20.32mm | 294.83g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739119907
  • 9780739119907
  • 1,233,417

Review quote

This is not only a scholarly book which fills a serious gap in classical Arabic studies, it is also a timely foray into the ever intensifying east-west debate... Attar managed to bring together a wealth of information based on her grasp of Western and Arab intellectual history, in order to re-establish the lost connection between the thought of Western enlightenment and the Arab and Islamic rationalist and philosophical tradition. This is a tour de force, a must reading for all those who have despaired over the irrationalist attack on Muslim civilization and its adherents in recent years. Attar's work is in the finest tradition of comparative literary criticism and a painstakingly careful study which finally answers many questions left obscured by the fog of ideological works, medieval and modern. -- Ghada H. Talhami Arab Studies Quarterly, Spring 2008 Attar's focused study... remains indispensable in a world where the leader of the current super power has to remind us all about these longstanding- and ultimately mutually sustaining-connections, which we ignore at our peril. University Of Texas At San Antonio Samar Attar's Hayy ibn Yaqzan is a man for our times, a teacher of toleration and even a relativist of sorts. That will be hard to accept for those brought up to think of Ibn Tufayl's book as somehow unfolding 'the secrets of the Oriental wisdom mentioned' by Avicenna. But Attar has answers for such cavils and is adept at pointing to the many authors in the early modern Western tradition who may have drawn, wittingly or not, upon Ibn Tufayl's philosophical novel. -- Charles E. Butterworth, University of Marylandshow more

About Samar Attar

Samar Attar has published widely in both English and Arabic in the fields of literary criticism, philosophy, migration, and gender studies.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Buried in the Dust of History: A Forgotten Arab Mentor of Modern European Thinkers Chapter 2 Serving God or Mammon? : Echoes from Hayy Ibn Yaqzan and Sinbad the Sailor in Robinson Crusoe Chapter 3 The Man of Reason: Hayy Ibn Yaqzan and His Impact on Modern European Thought Chapter 4 Beyond Family, History, Religion, and Language: The Construction of a Cosmopolitan Identity in a Twelfth-Century Arabic Philosophical Novel Chapter 5 The Book that Launched a Thousand Books Chapter 6 The Extraordinary Voyage Chapter 7 A Philosophical Letter, An Allegorical Voyage, or an Autobiography?: Hayy Ibn Yaqzan as a Model in Modern European Literature Chapter 8 Conclusion: A Humanist Thesis Subverted?show more

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