Second Take-Home Assignment Essays

2001 Words9 Pages
Response to question 1:
Ibn Tufayl writes of Hayy ibn Yaqzan’s experiences starting with his birth. Tufayl presents two different accounts about the origin of his hero, Hayy. The first account was that Hayy was born on an uninhabited island, not from parents but, rather, from clay fermentation. The author emphasizes the importance of the island’s perfect geographic location and climate in order to support the possibility of spontaneous human generation without the need for a mother and father. According to the second account, Hayy was the illegitimate son of a princess who was the daughter of a ruler of a large inhabited island next to the uninhabited island. In order to save the baby (Hayy) from certain death, his mother puts him
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He discovers that they do not seek God. He then examines the spiritual bodies which possess an intelligent substance, like his, and that they see the Necessary Being. Among all the animals, he thinks of himself as the only one who could know the Necessary Being. Up to this point, he has not met other human beings.
I believe that the author gave two different explanations about how Hayy came to life in order to immediately attract the reader and to start the thought process at the very beginning of his tale. The tale was written in a way that reflected Tufayl’s own philosophical ideas. I understood the background of the explanations to be the same, i.e., they both present Hayy in solitude on an uninhabited island to show how reason guides the human intellect naturally. I believe that was Tufayl’s intention. Both explanations were related to science and religion and, because Tufayl was a philosopher, I believe that they were based on his readings and learnings. I do not think that the author favored either account because, other than giving the two accounts, he did not set out to prove or disprove one or the other. In my opinion, Tufayl’s intent, throughout his essay, was to convey the fact that self-discipline is important in the search for the understanding of life in all forms and that solitude is necessary to the learning
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